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AWE Aldermaston: Press

Volume 463: debated on Monday 23 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to the public purse was of holding the media open day at AWE Aldermaston in June 2007; what plans he has to hold other such open days at atomic weapons establishment sites; and if he will make a statement. (150236)

The only identifiable cost of the AWE media open day was £494.40. These costs were for catering and the production of press packs. There will have been other small unquantifiable costs associated with employees' time. The media open day was organised to coincide with an on-site exhibition for employees, contractors and their families. This was in response to the House of Commons Defence Committee's (HCDC) view that there was a case for greater openness regarding the work undertaken at AWE. The Government response to the HCDC’s report ‘The Future of the UK's Strategic Nuclear Deterrent: the Manufacturing and Skills Base’ (HC 59 dated 19 December 2006) provides further details.

Currently we have no plans to hold another media open day at an AWE site.