§ Mr. Salter
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment has been made of the ability of AWE Aldermaston to cope with the Millennium date change. 
§ Mr. Spellar
Hunting-BRAE's programme to identify and test all AWE' s safety and business-critical systems was completed in July and all necessary changes were made by that date. All but essential services will be shut down prior to the New Year and staff will be on duty over the period to monitor systems and deal with any contingencies that may arise. There will then be a controlled start-up of operations in the New Year.
The extent and effectiveness of the programme have been audited by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, the Ministry of Defence's Compliance Office and Specialist Procurement Services and the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency. All have stated that they are satisfied with the action taken.