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Object to the proposed Hydrodynamic Facility at AWE Aldermaston

As the debate between the Ministry of Defence and the Treasury continues, and Nick Clegg sticks his head above the parapet to say: "Trident replacement makes welfare cuts harder to justify”,

Defence Estates, for the Ministry of Defence, have submitted an application to build a new Hydrodynamics Facility (Hydrus) at AWE Aldermaston. This will be a facility for warhead simulation experiments, which most experts agree is only really necessary for if AWE plan to test materials for a new warhead.


Please take action now.

This alert includes suggestions about how you can object to the proposed Hydrus Hydrodynamics facility at Aldermaston on which a decision will be made some time in September. It also urges you to send a letter to Liam Fox, Minister of Defence, asking him for a moratorium on all new building at AWE Aldermaston.


How to object

1. The Easy way: go to the CND website where you will find a standard objection, to which you can add your own message:

2. Make your own arguments: read the excellent briefing by the Nuclear Information Service [] where you will find further information about the costs, risks, health and safety issues and lack of consultation on project Hydrus. You can either send your objection to [Ref (10/01695/COMIND)] or post your comments on the West Berkshire Planning Committee website, at []

3. Write to Minister of Defence, Liam Fox Points you could make A) As Minister of Defence, you have publicly stated that the MoD does not have sufficient resources to afford to replace Trident. Yet in July, the Ministry of Defence lodged a planning application with the West Berkshire Planning Committee, proposing to build a new hydrodynamics facility at AWE Aldermaston. This is the most recent in a series of applications, made since 2004, to build new facilities which will enable the UK to test, design and build a new nuclear warhead for the current Trident system. B) West Berkshire District Council intend to decide the application by 15 October (probably at Committee Meetings in September)- in advance of the government's Spending Review (20 October), and the Strategic Defence Review - not due toward the end of 2010. Bearing in mind the ongoing debate about the future of UK's nuclear weapons system and the fact that a decision on a new warhead is not to be taken until later in the forthcoming parliament, we urge you to withdraw this application. C) As well as withdrawing the application for Hydrus, we are calling for a moratorium on all building projects of AWE Aldermaston and Burghfield - with the exception of the Warhead assembly facility, which is desperately need to replace the current facility which, because of serious health and safety defects, has to be replaced, and will be always required for decommissioning the current nuclear stockpile. D) The costs of the new facilities under construction at Aldermaston are not publicly available, but you have stated (12 August 2010) that, even without identifying funding for Trident, the MoD will be required to makes 10-20 per cent cuts in its £37bn annual budget. The costs of Trident replacement are generally estimated at between 5-6% of the Defence Budget.

You can send your letters via

or write to

MOD Ministerial Correspondence Unit, 5th Floor, Zone A, Main Building, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2HB

4. Comment on the proposed spending cuts The government are asking for our suggestions about what to cut. Of the 44,000 ideas suggested by the public so far, more than 1,000 relate to cutting Trident, predominantly as a means of protecting essential public services. Add your own idea or rate other people's. But hurry! The opportunity to comment ends soon, See