AWE Aldermaston

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 25th September 2017.

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Photo of Lord Stoddart of Swindon Lord Stoddart of Swindon Independent Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston has been placed on special measures for the fourth year running; whether the AWE has produced a plan for dealing with high levels of radioactive waste; if not, why not; and whether they have made an assessment of the extent to which any failure to do so puts staff and residents in the area surrounding that establishment at risk.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has stated that safety at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) sites is acceptable. The ONR's decision to place the AWE Aldermaston site under enhanced regulatory attention was due to issues relating principally to ageing facilities, which do not pose any immediate safety concerns.

AWE has a plan in place for the long-term safe management of radioactive waste and this has resulted in the successful closure of the ONR's Improvement Notice regarding this matter.

The Ministry of Defence works closely with AWE, monitoring all aspects of its performance, including regulatory compliance.

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