Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Ban the bomb
Monday, 5 February 2007
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the projected cost is of the AWE development plan at Aldermaston; what the expected duration of the project is; how expenditure has been committed to the project to date; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ingram: The Government will continue to make the necessary investment at AWE Aldermaston to ensure that it has the facilities and skills to meet our current and possible future requirements. We will continue to make the necessary investment in the establishment for as long as these requirements endure. The Government announced on 19 July 2005, Official Report, column 59WS, that investment at AWE would increase by an average of some £350 million per year for the years up to and including 2007-08. Details of investment at AWE for the period beyond 2007-08 will be determined over the next year, following this year's comprehensive spending review.
As the White Paper, ‘The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent’ published in December 2006, made clear, further investment at AWE will be necessary and early in the next decade the costs of AWE are likely—at their peak—to be the equivalent of about 3 per cent. of the current defence budget.