Hansard on AWE Burghfield, May 2008

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6 May 2008 : Column 834W AWE Burghfield Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will propose changes to the /(a)/ management and /(b)/ procedures and systems at Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield to reduce the likelihood of any future necessary cessation of services on safety grounds; and if he will make a statement. [202083]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The nuclear site licensee at AWE Burghfield is AWE plc, which manages the site under Government owned/contractor operated arrangements. The external regulator, the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII), is satisfied that operations are safe and has not taken action to stop live nuclear work at AWE Burghfield. Ministry of Defence officials maintain a constant dialogue with AWE plc and Nil colleagues. There is therefore no reason for ministerial intervention.

NIS comment: This answer is interesting because the NII did take action to stop live work in 2007 by way of letters to the MoD who replied ' we won't.' But by Dec 31 MoD changed its mind and instructed AWE to stop live work. This doesn't come out in the answer at all of course!