§ Mr. Stephen Ross
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether the revised cost of the Trident programme reported in Defence Estimates as £7,500 million, includes £250 million to be spent on updating facilities at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston.
§ Mr. Pattie
No. As has been previously explained to the House, the decision to embark on a programme to replace and improve ageing capital facilities at AWRE Aldermaston in the light of current health and safety standards was made in the context of the general requirement to maintain a British nuclear deterrent capability and antedates the decision on Trident; new facilities would be required, however we chose to modernise our deterrent. The work includes provision of facilities for plutonium processing, waste management and power generation. The programme, some of which is still at an early stage of planning, is provisionally estimated to cost about £300 million over the decade.