Skip to main content

AWE Aldermaston

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 20 January 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform for what reason the Government decided to sell the remaining portion of its stake in AWE Aldermaston; and what sum it received from the sale. (247045)

The Government have not sold any of their stake in the Atomic Weapons Establishment itself. All Atomic Weapons Establishment sites and assets remain in Government ownership, as they have done since the Atomic Weapons Establishment was first contractorised in 1993. What happened on 17 December was that BNFL reached agreement to sell its one-third share in AWE Management Limited (AWEML) to Jacobs Engineering Group subject to clearance under EU merger control requirements. AWEML is the consortium of BNFL, Serco and Lockheed Martin that has the 25 year contract with MOD to manage and operate the Atomic Weapons Establishment on MOD's behalf. The sale of the one-third share arose as a result of the dismantling of BNFL and the terms remain confidential between the parties.

Further details of the sale and the nature of AWEML’s relationship with AWE plc are given in the written statements that I gave to the House on 12 January this year, Official Report, column 1WS and my right hon. Friend, the previous Secretary of State gave to the House on 16 July 2007, Official Report, column 1WS, respectively.