dv | 05.11.2008 21:23 | Anti-militarism
"[Defence Secretary John] Hutton denied the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston was being used for the development of new nuclear weapons. But he said it was "vitally necessary" for Britain to maintain the "minimum nuclear deterrent"."
- This latest ministerial denial is yet again either an outright lie or else exceedingly disingenuous. Public documents reveal that at Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston and Burghfield, multi-billion pound developments - 'on the scale of Heathrow Terminal 5' according to AWE itself - have recently been constructed, are under development and are in the pipeline. These include a uranium enrichment plant planned for 2009, the state-of-the-art Orion laser under construction, hydronamics and materials science laboratories, a new supercomputer and the massive Gemini complex to house well over a thousand new staff that include a number of warhead designers. Are we to believe that this massive expenditure of taxpayer's money is for the purpose of making strawberry ice cream?
Also noteworthy is the fact that John Hutton is the Labour MP for Barrow-in-Furness, where Trident-armed nuclear submarines (past and future) were built and will likely be built (by BAE Systems), as well as the Astute class hunter-killer submarines that escort them on patrol. Thus it could be argued that John Hutton has a vested interest in the renewal of Trident.
For reports, photos and links to mainstream and independent media stories about last week's blockade, check out the blockade blog: