17 Nov 2008 : Column 141W, AWE Aldermaston
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role the management consortium of the Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston, AWEML, has played in responding to the improvement notice served by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate of the Health and Safety Executive on 3 April 2008. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: Through its contract with the Ministry of Defence, AWEML is responsible for the safety of operations at AWE sites. This it discharges through its subsidiary, AWE plc, which holds the necessary Nuclear Site Licences and discharge authorisations issued by the external regulators. AWEML provides strategic guidance and direction to AWE plc, particularly in respect of safety and compliance with the regulatory regime. The AWEML board includes an independent safety director, who is engaged specifically to help ensure the correct emphasis and priorities are brought to bear on safety matters at AWE.
With regard to the Improvement Notice issued on 3 April 2008, AWEML scrutinised and endorsed the plan agreed between AWE plc and the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate in response to the issues raised. The AWEML board will be closely monitoring AWE plc's progress to ensure that the plan is achieved.