Atomic Weapons Establishment suspends production over safety concerns

AWE building The AWE provides and maintains warheads for the UK's submarine-launched nuclear deterrent

Related Stories

Work at a UK nuclear weapons factory has been halted over safety concerns.

It followed a routine inspection at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Aldermaston, Berkshire, by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

An MoD spokesman said: "A regular inspection showed signs of corrosion in a steel column and AWE is now working to inspect the whole building."

But Green Party MP Caroline Lucas criticised the MoD's "ancient and rickety nuclear infrastructure".

The factory maintains warheads for Trident, the UK's nuclear deterrent.

'Serious questions'

Ms Lucas added: "Rebuilding it to modern safety standards will add even more to the massive costs of the programme."

The MoD spokesman said suspending production had not impacted work on the submarine programme.

He added that it was working to "assess the extent of the problem and consider how best to rectify it".

"Routine operations at the building have been suspended as a precaution," he said.

An AWE spokesman said: "We can confirm that on November 9 AWE received an ONR improvement notice concerning one of its older manufacturing facilities at Aldermaston.

"For security reasons we do not give out specific building details or numbers."

The notice gives a target date of December 2013 for completion of the works.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Berkshire

Weather

Reading

Min. Night 2 °C

Features

  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back


  • Aimen DeanI spied

    The founder member of al-Qaeda who worked for MI6


  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?


  • Woman with closed eyeStrange light show

    What do you see when you close your eyes?


  • Sony WalkmanLost ideas

    What has happened to Japan's inventors?


Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.