Work is under way in secret at Britain’s nuclear bomb factory to upgrade the existing Trident arsenal and to develop an entirely new warhead, according to a report from the Nuclear Information Service. The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire is working on a programme to upgrade the current UK Trident warhead to produce the “Mark 4A”, which will be more accurate and have greater destructive power, the report says. The costs and timetable of the programme have not been revealed to parliament. Tuesday’s report, published by Nuclear Information Service (NIS), an independent research body, says £85m has already been spent by the AWE on new nuclear warhead design studies.
Guardian 7th June 2016 read more »
One of the country’s top scientists has said it is time to address how the skills and resources at Britain’s nuclear weapons factory could be used if the government decided to cancel the Trident programme. Writing in the foreword to a new Nuclear Information Service report about the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), the Berkshire factory where the UK’s Trident nuclear warheads are built and maintained, Professor Martin Rees (Lord Rees of Ludlow), Astronomer Royal and a former President of the Royal Society, said that it was “highly relevant” to consider how these skills and resources “might be gradually redeployed in the civil sector”. AWE’s future is closely linked to the future of the Trident programme and the report examines the consequences of a decision by a future government to close the programme, and sets out a blueprint to show how the Establishment could successfully diversify its work into the civilian sector.
NIS 6th June 2016 read more »
A group of anti-nuclear campaigners lay across roads to block access to a weapons factory in Berkshire. The protest happened near AWE Burghfield and is the start of a month-long campaign.
BBC 6th June 2016 read more »