NAG's summer 2015 newsletter is now available, with updates and information about the current state of affairs at the Atomic Weapons Establishment.
Welcome to Nuclear Awareness Group
Nuclear Awareness Group has written to the government's nuclear safety regulator to ask why the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) will not be prosecuted for failing to treat radioactive waste stocks which have accumulated at its Aldermaston site – even though the company defied a legally binding instruction by missing a deadline to deal with the waste.
At a meeting on 29th April organised jointly by NAG and Reading Friends of the Earth, guest speaker Pete Wilkinson gave a talk about the health impacts of low level radiation and the campaign to get the nuclear industry and governments to recognise these impacts. A copy of the presentation given by Pete is available for download below:
Low level radiation: A local, national, and international issue
Public meeting with Pete Wilkinson (Director, Nuclear Information Service Committee on Radioactive Waste Management 2003 – 2006 Adviser to the Office of Nuclear Regulation)
All welcome - Admission free
7.00 pm Wednesday 29th April
Reading International Solidarity Centre
35 – 39 London Street, Reading, RG1 4PS
Organised by Reading Friends of the Earth and Nuclear Awareness Group
In October 2014 NAG celebrated its twentieth anniversary, and to mark the event we held a special public meeting at Friends Meeting House in Reading. Long-standing NAG member Evelyn Parker gave an account of NAG's history and campaign work on the Atomic Weapons Establishment over the years, which we have published below as a reminder of our achievements. Our photo shows the Mayor of Reading, Tony Jones, and Green Party councillor Rob White at the meeting together with NAG members.
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.
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:
West Berkshire Council
You should quote application reference 11/02557/COMIND in your letter.
Much of our recent work has been about highlighting the potential risks from low-level radiation. This video, presented by Dr Jeffrey Patterson of Physicians for Social Responsibility, gives an excellent overview of some of the issues associated with low-level radiation.
Latest update from NAG including news from the Atomic Weapons Establishment, details of the Ministry of Defence's submarine dismantling consultation, and our analysis of the Weightman Review of the UK's nuclear safety.