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Britain denies report nuclear deterrent to cost 167 billion pounds

Crew from HMS Vengeance, a British Royal Navy Vanguard class Trident Ballistic Missile Submarine, stand on their vessel as they return along the Clyde river to the Faslane naval base near Glasgow, Scotland in this December 4, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/David Moir

NACKA, Sweden (Reuters) - Britain’s defence secretary on Tuesday denied that the overall cost of replacing and maintaining Britain’s nuclear deterrent would reach 167 billion pounds, saying it would be less.

In October, Reuters reported the cost would reach 167 billion pounds over its three decade long lifespan, much more than expected for the Trident nuclear deterrent, according to a lawmaker’s and Reuters’ calculations based on official figures.

“No, it is absolutely inaccurate. That is not right,” Michael Fallon told Reuters in Nacka, just outside Stockholm, where he was meeting defence ministers and officials from the Nordic and Baltic countries, the Netherlands, Poland and Germany.

“We will be publishing an updated figure in our five-yearly strategic defence review in a couple of weeks time and parliament will then have the latest figure,” he added.

When asked if the cost would be lower, he said “Yes, absolutely”, without giving more details.

Reporting by Daniel Dickson and Alistair Scrutton; Editing by Angus MacSwan