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Atomic Weapons Research Establishment

Volume 961: debated on Monday 22 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in implementing the recommendations made about health and safety at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Aldermaston by Sir Edward Pochin in his recent report; and if he will list the changes that have been brought into effect.

A new organisation has been created to plan and co-ordinate the implementation of the recommendations of the report, including the appointment of a senior scientist at AWRE with specific responsibilities in this respect. Several measures, such as the provision of more personal air samplers, have already been implemented and discussions are proceeding with staff associations and trade unions on detailed aspects of what will be involved in a return to work. Recruitment and training of additional health physics staff is in hand. So far as longer-term measures are concerned, funds have been authorised for a programme of remedial work on buildings.