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Laser application: what you can do

NOW is the time to throw a spanner in the works at Aldermaston. MOD have applied for planning permission for the new laser facility, the beginning of building a new generation of nuclear weapons. YOU can write a letter objecting to this development.

The next generation of nuclear weapons can be stopped! This application has already had to be withdrawn once, because of a successful legal challenge by a local resident.

Please email something off now, and also pass this tng_alert on to a few people who would also like to object. Remember those who do not inhabit the Email world....they are often excellent at writing letters!

Write a letter objecting to the new developments at Aldermaston: deadline May 21st

The Ministry of Defence have resubmitted their Notice of Proposed Development for the Orion laser facility at AWE Aldermaston. It will be in the public domain by 30th April and the deadline for objections will be May 21st. NOW is the time for letters: play your part in stopping this madness. Below is some brief background, that can be put into letters, and the addresses to send objections to.


The Notice of Proposed Development
This application, to West Berkshire District Council (WBDC), was previously passed by the council but then the MOD had to withdraw it because a local resident made a successful legal challenge. The MOD have now resubmitted it, including additional environmental information, and it will be treated as a new submission.

Unlike other planning applications, the council cannot reject this Notice of Proposed Development - but it can refer it to the Secretary of State who may open a public inquiry. Aldermaston Women's Peace Campaign are calling for a public inquiry, not merely into this application, but into the whole package of proposals outlined in AWE's Site Development Strategy Plan.

What is going on at Aldermaston?
The proposed high-powered laser will enable AWE to replicate the conditions of a nuclear explosion, and enable the construction of predictive models for nuclear explosions.
The new laser is the first stage of a massive development plan, thought to equip AWE Aldermaston to produce a new generation of nuclear weapons, which - if developed - would violate the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

AWE claim that this new development is necessary for the current Trident programme. However, combined with proposals for a new hydrodynamics facility, a supercomputer and other testing facilities, and the recruitment of over 80 new scientific posts, observers believe that AWE is equipping itself to produce a new generation of nuclear weapons.

What are the environmental concerns?
1. Impact of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the area. It is acknowledged that given the size of the proposed building, it will have a visual impact, particularly from views into the site from the A340 at Paices Hill.

2. Environmental Problems. At the December 17th hearing, Councillors asked the AWE Applicants if the building could be sunk into the ground. AWE refused, and implied that the building was already designed to be below ground to enable the 10 laser beams to surround the sample. This could be a problem in itself as there is a high water-table at the site. All the usual environmental problems of a nuclear site will apply to this proposal, although very little radioactive discharge is claimed for the normal running of the laser. The possible effects of a serious laser accident or destruction of the laser building are not known.

3. Any additional high-risk procedure at this nuclear warhead production site is unreasonable, both for neighbours and for the local public protection authority. The 5 feet thick walls of the laser building are to provide essential shielding, indicating that a dangerous procedure is to take place inside.

Where to send your objection
Clearly quote this number on your letter: Application number 04/00945/OUT

And send to:
Planning Department
West Berkshire District Authority
Council Offices, Market Street
Newbury, Berkshire. RG14 5LD

OR send by Email to:

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