Plan to cut nuclear stockpile ‘a hollow gesture’
Ian Bruce is right to explain that Trident warhead numbers have already been reduced. Nukewatch records show that reduction have already been taking place over the last few years. In 2006, 3 or 4 loads were transported from AWE to Coulport and 5 were returned to AWE for servicing. This suggests that warheads are already being scrapped, possibly 4 or 8 this year, taking the UK inventory down to182 or 178. If these are to be reduced rapidly to the announced160, it could involve 20 being stored at RAF Honington in East Anglia to await dismantlement at AWE. This was the process for decommissioning Chevaline warheads in the 1990s. It is thought that below 100 would not be a viable complement of warheads to keep AWE in business.