AWE Aldermaston

Defence written question – answered on 7th September 2012.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence

(1) whether any (a) radioactive materials, (b) explosives and (c) hazardous chemicals were present in the building at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in which a fire occurred on 12 April 2012;

(2) how many (a) firefighting personnel and (b) fire appliances attended the incident at the Atomic Weapons Establishment on 12 April 2012;

(3) what the cause was of the fire at the Atomic Weapons Establishment on 12 April 2012 attended by the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service; in which facility the incident occurred; what the extent was of any damage caused; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The fire at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston on 12 April 2012 was caused by the ignition of bearing grease within the ventilation extraction system of an AWE manufacturing facility. The resulting damage was localised to the fan itself. A total of 17 fire fighting personnel and three fire appliances attended the incident.

There were no radioactive materials or explosives present in the building where the fire occurred. Hazardous material was present in the building, but not in the part where the fire occurred. At no point was there any risk to the health of staff or the public.

Does this answer the above question?

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