“Nuke dust disaster: two feared dead and hundreds at risk as deadly cloud descends.” It’s a scary headline, but happily only one imagined in a Ministry of Defence (MoD) emergency exercise in 2011.

The exercise envisaged a major pile-up involving two nuclear bomb lorries on the M74, near the busy Raith interchange at Bellshill. Leaking fuel burst into flames, and radioactivity from damaged weapons was blown over surrounding communities.

It’s one of the MoD’s worst nightmares and thankfully it hasn’t happened – yet. It’s a risk that inevitably comes with Scotland’s reluctant role as the home of the UK government’s Trident nuclear weapons system.

Most of what we know about the nuclear bomb convoys that regularly trundle our roads is due to the diligence and detective work of the dedicated members of Nukewatch UK, a group that has been monitoring the convoys for years. They have logged many accidents and incidents.

Its new report, as we reveal today, shows that none of the 15 local authorities through which the convoys travel have assessed the dangers, or warned the public. It also criticises Scottish ministers for failing to ensure compliance with civil contingencies law.

This is worrying. In the event of an accident or terrorist attack on a convoy, it would be the responsibility of councils and the Scottish Government to try to protect the public from harm.

The suggestion that they are “unprepared” should not be ignored. It looks at the moment as if both councillors and ministers are not taking the risks seriously enough.

That’s why the calls for an urgent review of how civil authorities would deal with a nuclear convoy crash should be heeded. It’s no good the Scottish business and energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, insisting that everything’s fine. It’s not, and he should do something about it.