10 Mar 2009 : Column 236W
Nuclear Weapons: Research
*Lynne Jones:* To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the source is of the funding for the joint US/UK warhead research taking place at the Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston. 
*Mr. Hutton:* The Atomic Weapons Establishment undertakes research to ensure the continued safety, security, and performance of the United Kingdom's nuclear stockpile. Additionally, it is currently assisting the Ministry of Defence in reviewing the optimum life of the existing warhead stockpile and analysing the range of replacement options that might be available. This work, some of which is being undertaken with the United States under the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement, will inform decisions likely to be necessary in the next Parliament on the need to refurbish or replace the current warhead. The funding for this work is met by the UK Defence budget.