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AWE Aldermaston: Nuclear bomb factory begins upgrade at West Berkshire site

The AWE atomic bomb factory in Aldermaston is building a centre for research labs.

The creation of a replacement facility, known as the HUB, is 42,785m2 and comprises a covered street providing access to laboratories, offices, storage, workshops and training together with a separate calibration building.

AWE Aldermaston
AWE Aldermaston

The vast development is part of a wider masterplan to redevelop the site.

The existing site buildings have developed over 70 years, since the foundation of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment in 1950.

It is responsible for the entire life cycle of nuclear warheads.

In 2005 the government committed to maintaining a nuclear deterrent prompting a site-wide upgrade plan.

Currently the Aldermaston site has about 450 buildings - most dating back to the 50s and 60s.

AWE says the planned developments will make the site “match fit” for future government deterrent requirements.

AWE Aldermaston
AWE Aldermaston

Labour will aim to raise the UK’s defence spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP “as soon as resources allow”, leader Sir Kier Starmer has said.

He said that defence is “the number one issue for any government” in a world where international threats had risen and the situation was “more volatile” than it had been for many years.

“On defence spending, obviously we want to get to 2.5 per cent as soon as resources allow that to happen,” he said.

By committing to that level of defence spending, Labour, which is far ahead in opinion polls ahead of an election expected later this year, is matching the intentions of the Conservative government. The defence budget is currently around 2.1 per cent of GDP.

Sir Kier will also promise to make the UK’s nuclear deterrent the “bedrock” of his security plan to keep Britain safe.

The latest development plans for AWE are already approved by West Berkshire Council, which is now being asked to approve a delivery schedule for concrete lorries to-ing and fro-ing from the site.

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