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AWE Burghfield: Floods

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contingency planning had been conducted at AWE Burghfield before the 2007 floods to prepare for such an eventuality; and if he will make a statement. (229694)

Contingency planning at AWE Burghfield is based on the output of a rolling programme of assessments undertaken as part of the site safety cases. Before the 2007 flooding these concluded that the surface water management system would be adequate to prevent flooding of the operational facilities in normal circumstances.

Prior to the 2007 event, localised flooding was experienced at AWE Burghfield, which resulted in further contingency measures being implemented. This involved clearing and dredging the Burghfield Brook, which runs through the site, and reprofiling its banks to allow a greater amount of water to be contained and a constant flow to be maintained.

Although the measures taken mitigated the effects of the July 2007 heavy rainfall, flooding still occurred as run-off from surrounding fields migrated to the site. Water sampling was completed throughout the site and no abnormal results were detected. At no time was there any threat to the operational safety of AWE sites, to the public or the environment.