The work previously co-ordinated by the Warhead Pre-Concept Working Group now forms part of studies being undertaken by Atomic Weapon Establishment under the Nuclear Warhead Capability Sustainment Programme. This is required to inform decisions, likely to be necessary in the next Parliament, on whether and how we may need to refurbish or replace our current warhead. Expenditure amounted to some £7.3 million in 2008-09 and is forecast to be some £16.5 million in 2009-10. Comparable levels of future annual expenditure are anticipated until final decisions are taken.
Some special nuclear material is held at sites that are not owned by the Ministry of Defence. I am withholding further information on the location of this material as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice national security and defence in the UK.