Strategy Plan & Tritium Evaporator Notices
On Wednesday 28th May, West Berks. Planning Committee will hear arguments relating to the Aqueous Waste Treatment Plant (AWTP) that is to evaporate tritiated water, replacing the Pangborne Pipeline. Di McDonald will speak for NIS, agreeing that this is the best of the options, given the amount of decommissioning needed at AWE, on condition that production of weapons ceases. The AWTP has to be seen in the context of other risks at the site, from fire, terrorists and plutonium discharges. Until the plant is wound down, it is a threat to public health and safety, and WBC should say so. No plan has been sent to WBC regarding the Strategy Plan. A12 month delay in submitting the new conference centre plan at the west end of the site may be because it is too close to sensitive areas and AWE are revising their plans.

"It is our intention to ensure that all our core activities are done by AWE people," according to Director Frank Winter. But that "a number of services can be done by the supply chain with similar values and beliefs as AWE." [Ed. italics]

Collaboration with US Labs
Diamond turning lathes in the Material Science Research laboratory are among the most accurate in the world, and are used to support experiments in the Hydrodynamics group and the HELEN laser. "They are also used in collaboration with some of the more powerful lasers in US labs." A white light interferometer is used to inspect and characterise warhead components that measures diamond turned surfaces with resolutions measured in fractions.

European Society for Precision Engineering (ESPE)
AWE has now become a member of the ESPE and Nanotechnology, since it enables them to keep track of advances in technology, and provides contact with others carrying on similar work.

Cost Cutting
Cost cuts of £100,000 a year have been achieved in the A45 Uranium plant and one of £500,000 in A90, the Plutonium warhead production building.

Space Exploration
The Beagle 2 Mars lander has been tested in AWE 's electro-mechanical shaker' for the principal-engineering contractor, Astrium Space. AWE's role has been to provide a suitable environment to carry out final tests on the lander, to be launched by the European Space Agency for the Open University. Ed. Comment: It is surprising that the EU Space Agency is in collaboration with AWE since it has a non-military clauses in its constitutions.

AWE Partnership Share Scheme
AWE employees are being issued share certificates in nuclear weapons production in the first week of June. AWML have injected £2 million into the fund to ensure a guaranteed payout at the end of a 3 year period. The moral implications do not feature in the information to employees.

Donations to Local Schools
Kendrick Girls School in Reading has been donated £10,000 for science equipment. Scott McCulloch for AWE said, "Projects like this establish an excellent exchange process between the school and AWE." One 'old girl' is known to have protested to the school.

AWE Emergency Telephone System
The emergency telephone system is still not active. Details are to be included in the new REPPIR (Radiation Emergency Preparedness & Public Information Regulations) leaflets to be sent to all homes and businesses close to AWE sites.

Source: AWE Today April 2003

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