Aug 04

Residents evacuated after fire at UK’s main nuclear weapons factory

Residents located near Britain’s main nuclear weapons factory were forced to evacuate after a fire broke out in one of the plant’s buildings.

By Andrew Hough
The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston in Berkshire: Residents evacuated after fire at UK's main nuclear weapons factory
The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston in Berkshire Photo: PA

An investigation has been launched into what sparked the blaze at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston, Berks, which maintains the warheads for the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent.

One staff member, who has not been named, suffered minor injuries during the fire at the atomic weapons base, which started around 9pm on Tuesday night.

Authorities said the fire, which broke out in the “non-nuclear explosives area” of the base, had “no radiological implications”.

The blaze forced the evacuation of other staff and local residents as authorities sealed the area off as a “precaution”.

Ministry of Defence sources described the fire at the base, where Britain’s nuclear warheads are designed, built and maintained, as “minor”.

At least six fire appliances were sent to the blaze. It remains unclear what sparked it.

A spokeswoman for the base said: “At around 9pm on Tuesday 3 August, a fire broke out in a building within the conventional non-nuclear explosives area of AWE Aldermaston.


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