The British Royal Navy has ordered a probe after workers aboard a nuclear submarine used glue to fix broken bolts in a nuclear reactor chamber of the Trident nuclear-armed submarine.

The faulty repairs were discovered on HMS Vanguard's cooling pipes during a routine inspection. At least seven broken bolts were glued on instead of being repaired and replaced, per a statement by the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD).

According to a report by The Independent, the bolts were crucial as they held insulation in place on the coolant pipes in the nuclear reactor.

The faults were discovered just as workers were setting it up to run at full power for the first time. The loose bolts could have caused the insulation to fall off, making the reactor less efficient.

"It's a disgrace. You can't cut corners with nuclear. Standards are standards. Nuclear standards are never compromised," wrote The Sun citing a source. The issue with the submarine has now been fixed.

Babcock, the defence contractor whose workers were responsible for the repairs, has come under fire for the botched work.

A spokesperson for the company said: "Any quality-related issue is a huge disappointment, but our own robust inspection processes discovered the issue. There was no safety or operational impact from the work."

HMS Vanguard is one of four nuclear submarines that patrol the UK's seas. These vessels ensure that Britain is ready to strike in the event of a nuclear attack.

These Vanguard-class submarines are around 491 feet long, or over twice the size of two Boeing 747s, and powered by steam. A nuclear reactor inside the underwater vessels boils sea water, the steam from which is then used to propel them.

The four submarines—HMS Vanguard, HMS Vengeance, HMS Victorious, and HMS Vigilant—are capable of carrying 16 Trident II D5 ballistic missiles, produced by the American arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin, each armed with up to eight nuclear warheads. As it stands, each submarine only carries three Trident missiles. The current fleet of submarines will come to the end of their working lives in the 2030s.

Trident Subamrines
The first Trident submarine, the HMS Vanguard sits in dock at Faslane Submarine base Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images