The need for independent regulation of potentially dangerous activities is, as we have argued before, self-evident. In the case of the UK’s nuclear weapons it’s vital.

The way the Ministry of Defence has tried to ensure that our Trident nuclear deterrent is safe and the public not at risk, has been less than satisfactory. Essentially it relies on the military self-regulating. This has never been acceptable.

In the last ten years we have been given some insight into how this regulation works, since freedom of information law forced the release of annual reports from the MoD’s internal nuclear safety watchdog. Every year the reclusive Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator gently raised concerns about how spending cuts and skilled staff shortages could put safety at risk.

Now, it seems, we are to be deprived of even this. The MoD in its wisdom has decided to keep all the latest reports secret because it now thinks that they might threaten national security by giving our notional enemies ideas.

As experts and campaigners have pointed out, this is hard to justify. It raises the obvious question of whether the MoD is simply trying to hide inconvenient truths, and it prevents parliament and the public from holding the MoD to account.

In a democracy - and especially in Scotland where most people don’t want nuclear weapons - this could hardly be more important. The MoD must not be allowed to retreat into its secretive nuclear citadel.