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Press Release: West Berkshire to rubber stamp Uranium Facility?

West Berkshire councillors seem set on Wednesday to rubber-stamp plans to build an Enriched Uranium Facility at Aldermaston.
Despite more than 1400 letters of objection, including from Basingstoke and Deane and Slough Borough Councils, councillors have been recommended to approve the application at their meeting on Wednesday 10 February at  the Calcot Centre, Reading.

While the Ministry of Defence/AWE plc state in their planning application that “Public consultation has been a key aspect in the preparation of this planning application and is an important element of theplanning process” a recent poll conducted by environmental and other groups found that more than 70 per cent of local people had not heard about the proposed Enriched Uranium Facility until they were surveyed. Some 61 per cent of 550 people surveyed did not think that the development should go ahead.

The local parish council - which was consulted - has, for the first time, asked for conditions to be put on the development, so that it "should not lead to "an increase in the quantity of enriched uranium handled or stored on the site".  However, according to council documents, information on "the nature and quantities of enriched uranium components and waste arising ...has been withheld on the grounds of national security", and no conditions relating to the parish council's concern have been recommended.

Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp are calling for full details of the safety risks and environmental impact of the proposed Enriched Uranium Facility to be made public, and for a Public Inquiry into this and
other developments at AWE.

The Ministry of Defence submitted a planing application on 27th November 2009 for an Enriched Uranium Facility at AWE Aldermaston. The facility, called "Pegasus", is the latest in a series of applications for facilities and other buildings which will enable AWE Aldermaston and Burghfield to design, test and build another generation of nuclear warheads.

Enriched uranium is used to make components of a nuclear warhead. The proposed facility, if it goes ahead, would be be used to store, cast, machine and recycle enriched uranium (from the MoD's existing
stockpile). The MoD propose that this building will replace the current Enriched Uranium Facility - the A45 building at Aldermaston, which will operate up until 2016.

For details of the planning meeting and associated documents, see 

http://www.westberks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=16178

The local survey is available at  http://nuclearinfo.org/view/item/a2042