October 29, 2020 (Google Translation) –
I am pleased to see that our allies are welcome in Tromsø with their submarines, and will contribute to a good collaboration so that the necessary local contingency plans are in place.
The defense of Norway is dependent on reinforcements from our allies. An important part of this is to facilitate the Allies to be able to practice, train and be present in Norway and our surrounding areas. Arrivals of reactor-powered submarines from Allied countries are an important part of this activity.
The municipal council in Tromsø municipality is now in favor of reactor-driven submarines docking in the port of Tromsø, more specifically at the port of Grøtsund. It is very good and we look forward to good cooperation with the municipality in the future.
Thus, it is important that we move on to the next step: To complete the local contingency plans. It is a municipal responsibility to have updated planning as part of the municipality’s emergency preparedness. These contingency plans are not only important for calls from military vessels, they are just as important for being prepared if something should happen during civilian calls.
We want to have a good collaboration with Tromsø municipality and other actors on this, so that the port can be used by allied submarines as quickly as possible. We have offered our expertise for this work. Among other things, the Armed Forces will assist with an updated ROS analysis, which maps risks and vulnerabilities. It is now important that all relevant actors, the Armed Forces, affected municipalities, the County Governor of Troms and Finnmark and the Directorate for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety, work closely together so that risk assessments and contingency plans are completed. When the work on the plans is completed, Tromsø’s residents should receive good and comprehensive information. It has all along been planned that a public meeting will be held, and we will assist so that the topic is informed as best as possible.
The government is now investing heavily in upgrading the Armed Forces, not least in the north. This is shown by the proposal for a new long-term plan for the Armed Forces, which was presented recently. We also want the presence of allies. We invite allies to train and practice with us, so that they can better handle the demanding conditions here in the north. Then we must facilitate this, also with infrastructure such as airports and ports.
This must of course be done in a way that is safe for the local communities. We have good routines for calling at reactor-powered vessels in areas with a high population density, such as in Bergen. Reactor-powered vessels from the Allies are received in a safe manner and with similar contingency plans that are now to be completed in Tromsø. This is therefore nothing new in the Norwegian context, and we want to have the same good routines in place to ensure safety in the north as well.
The defense of Norway takes place along three main lines: the national defense capability, the collective defense in NATO and bilateral support and reinforcements from close allies. Together with allied countries, we defend Norway and our neighboring areas.