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Atomic Weapons Establishment

Volume 407: debated on Tuesday 24 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the recruitment of scientists at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston. [120066]

As with every organisation, there is an ongoing need at the Atomic Weapons Establishment to maintain and improve the expertise of its workforce. The recruitment of graduate scientists is vital to the Company if it is to sustain its high technical expertise in the nuclear technology field. The Government attach great importance to ensuring the safety and serviceability of the UK's nuclear weapons. The Strategic Defence Review of 1998 confirmed the need for a robust capability to underwrite the safety and reliability of Trident, in the absence of nuclear testing and to maintain a minimum capability to design and produce a successor to Trident should this prove necessary. To achieve this assurance with great confidence and to meet the SDR remit, AWE must continue to recruit new staff to maintain a viable capability.