The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Aldermaston will be sentenced later today over a fire which injured on of its workers. This archive report by Kate Bunkall outlines the background of the case.
An atomic weapons plant has been accused of failing to protect its staff during a fire at the Berkshire base three years ago.
In a prosecution brought by the Health & Safety Executive, the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston today pleaded guilty to one charge of not ensuring the safety of employees.
One worker suffered burns to his face and arm in the fire which broke out in the building where explosives were being manufactured, in August 2010. Kate Bunkall sent this report from Reading Crown Court.
The MoD has reached an agreement with AWE Management Limited (AWEML), which will see the MoD invest £1 billion a year over the next five years. This will provide investment in skills and facilities at the company’s site in Aldermaston and Burghfield, Berks, where more than 4,500 staff are based.
Around 40 per cent of this money will be invested in essential capital projects, including production and research facilities. The remainder will be spent on operating and maintaining the AWE.
Atomic Weapons Establishment is a centre of scientific and technological excellence, with some of the most advanced research, design and production facilities in the world. This investment announced today will help maintain 4,500 jobs and a key capability, which is essential for our national security.”
– Peter Luff, Defence Equipment and Support Minister