At the AWE public consultation last year, the Environment Agency required AWE to close the Pangbourne pipeline by 2005.
This twin-bore pipeline runs for 18 Kilometres from AWE Aldermaston under fields, minor roads, the M4 motorway and river Kennet to the river Thames at Pangbourne. AWE intends to clean the pipes and leave them in situ, in order to cause least land disruption. But according to an AWE report, there is another reason not to clean up the site. If removed, and even after cleaning, the radioactive waste generated would have to be taken to the national repository for low level waste at Drigg, taking up too much of AWE's allocated space.
This evidence suggests that there could be long-term radioactive effects on ground-water & the food chain along with what will be a radioactive waste trench across Berkshire. Additional problems of accidental exposure, pipe-rusting or loss of records in future can also be anticipated. Whereas the AWE Local Liaison Committee members, West Berkshire Council and all the landowners prefer the AWE option of leaving it in situ, NIS takes the view that AWE should not leave their pipes to be dealt with by future generations.