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NAG Public Meeting on AWE emergency planning: 'From Fukushima to Reading: Public protection or public whitewash?'



NAG Public Meeting

From Fukushima to Reading: Public Protection or public whitewash?


Guest speaker: John Large (international consultant on nuclear safety)


Chaired by Paul Gittings, Lead Councillor for Environment and Climate change, Reading Borough Council



Wednesday 31 October 2012

7.00 pm - 9.00 pm


Reading International Solidarity Centre

35 - 39 London Street, Reading, RG1 4PS


Organised jointly by Nuclear Awareness Group and Reading Peace Group

All welcome - admission free



The Fukushima nuclear disaster has exposed serious shortfalls in nuclear emergency planning arrangements. In the light of the Fukushima crisis, independent nuclear safety consultant John Large has analysed emergency planning arrangments for the Atomic Weapons Establishment - the factory where the UK's nuclear weapons are made, barely ten miles from the major urban centre of Reading.

Just how safe are we? Join John Large for an evening of discussion and debate on the risks that the nuclear industry poses to the public.

All welcome - admission free.

Organised by Nuclear Awareness Group and Reading Peace Group.

Follow by brief NAG Annual General Meeting.

New planning application submitted for development at AWE Aldermaston

At the end of November the Ministry of Defence (MoD) submitted a planning application to West Berkshire Council for construction of a Technology Development Centre at AWE Aldermaston. The Centre is being built as part of the UK's contribution to a joint UK – France warhead research programme known as 'Project Teutates'.

The Technology Development Centre will develop radiographic instrumentation for monitoring and analysing the results of hydrodynamics research experiments which will be conducted at a new joint research facility at Valduc in France. The Aldermaston and Valduc facilities are both scheduled to commence operation in 2015.

As is usual for planning applications submitted for AWE sites, information necessary to judge the risks posed by the development will be withheld from the public. A direction issued by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government allows the MoD to submit a limited environmental appraisal document to the local planning authority instead of undertaking a full environmental impact assessment.

The Technology Development Centre will design giant high power flash X-Ray machines for taking high speed photos of changes in materials during experiments which mimic the behaviour warhead components and mock-ups during a nuclear explosion. AWE has developed considerable expertise in such technology, based on Inverted Voltage Adder equipment, over many years of hydrodynamic research using existing facilities at Aldermaston.

The planning application is expected to be determined by West Berkshire Council's Eastern Area Planning Committee in late January / early February 2012. You can have your say by visiting the West Berkshire planning applications website (warning – not easy to use!) or by writing to:

Planning Department
West Berkshire Council
Council Offices
Market Street
RG14 5LD

You should quote application reference 11/02557/COMIND in your letter.

Please object to AWE's latest planning application

The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) has submitted a new planning application to West Berkshire Council for a warhead components manufacturing facility at AWE Burghfield. The planned conventional manufacturing rationalisation facility (CMR facility) will play a key role in the future of the UK's nuclear weapons programme. Please write to West Berkshire Council with your views on this application.

NAG spring meeting: The untold story of radioactive discharges from the Atomic Weapons Establishment

David Griffiths from the Environment Agency's Nuclear Regulation Group was our guest at the spring 2011 NAG meeting to reveal the untold story of how radioactive discharges from the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) have reduced over the last forty years. Using data from AWE and the Ministry of Defence which has never before been presented in public, David gave a fascinating presentation about efforts to drive down the levels of radioactive material released from AWE sites.

NAG submits comments on development near AWE to Boundary Hall inquiry

NAG has written to the Planning Inspector who will be conducting the Boundary Hall public inquiry to give our views on development in the vicinity of Atomic Weapons Establishment sites. Public safety must come first, according to NAG, and the Inspector should turn down the application for a proposed housing development close to the AWE Aldermaston perimeter fence on the Boundary Hall site. To read more about our views and find out how you can submit your views to the inquiry please click on the link above.

NAG meeting: February 2010: New Studies on the Impact of Low Level Radiation

Our special guest at our spring 2010 meeting was Dr Ian Fairlie, an independent concultation on radiation and the environment. Dr Fairlie spoke about the German KiKK study into the relationship between childhood cancers and nuclear power stations, and also the risks posed by radioactive tritium. Click on the link above to find out more.


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