NIS Update: October 2021

AUKUS submarine deal erodes non-proliferation norms
Last month the UK, US and Australia announced an unexpected and contentious cooperation agreement that will see Australia fielding nuclear-powered submarines for the first time in the 2040s. The deal raises many questions but Australia is almost certain to require highly enriched uranium fuel.  Read more.
Babcock struggling after £1.6bn loss and continuing safety issues at Devonport
Babcock International, who run the nuclear submarine repair and refuelling docks at Devonport, have been forced to sell a part of their business to reduce debts. They’ve also received a second worker safety improvement notice from the Office for Nuclear Regulation.  Read more.
AWE accused of union busting
The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and construction contractors NG Bailey and Costain have been accused of ‘union busting’ by the construction union Unite over action taken against five workers which resulted in a walk-out of 200 workers on 20 September. Read more.
Atomic Weapons Establishment becomes a Non-Departmental Public Body
AWE plc completed its transition to what’s known as an ‘arm’s length body’, officially a Non-Departmental Public Body, at the end of June. It is owned by the MOD and will continue to work under contract to the Defence Nuclear Organisation. All change at board level while many executives have retained their positions. Read more.

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