HC Deb 23 May 1991 vol 191 cc609-10W
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the cost of repairing welding defects in the A91 building at the atomic weapons establishment at Aldermaston; and what effect this has had on training programmes.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle

The problem discovered during the early stages of commissioning in the A91 building is one of corrosion on pipework and vessels. A detailed technical investigation into the cause and extent of the problem has not yet been completed so we are not in a position to make decisions about what work is needed to rectify the problem. We do not expect this problem to have any adverse effect on the Trident warhead programme. The training schedules of a small number of the future A91 operators have been revised while the problem is being investigated.

Mr. Rogers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to rectify the defect in the installation of supports to the Phoenix system for ductwork on systems other than zone 1 and in the roof spaces above the first floor laboratories in the A90 building at Aldermaston; what system was charged for by the contractors; what steps he is taking to recover moneys from the contractor; and whether he is instigating any criminal or civil proceedings for overcharging, for product substitution or for fraud.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle

The use of Phoenix supports in A90, in areas beyond zone 1, was approved by the design authority for the building wherever they were fit for the purpose specified. Subsequently none has been found to be defective or inappropriate and none has had to be removed. The supplier charged and was paid for the materials used in the construction. The question of recovery of moneys or the instigation of any criminal or civil proceedings for overcharging has not arisen.