Putin on alert as UK nuclear defence chiefs poised to crush ‘extreme threat’ from Russia

Russia: TV commentators discuss firing nukes at London

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Founded in 1987, the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) is the successor to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment. It is primarily based at the former Royal Air Force station at Aldermaston in Berkshire, but also has major facilities at Blacknest, Burghfield, and Royal Naval Armaments Depot Coulport in Argyll, Scotland. As of July 2021, AWE is owned by the Ministry of Defence, following 21 years under the operation of a consortium comprising Jacobs Engineering Group, Lockheed Martin and Serco.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “The Atomic Weapons Establishment manufactures, maintains and develops the warheads for the UK’s nuclear deterrent.”

This, they added, “exists to deter the most extreme threats to our national security and way of life.”

The establishment’s remit includes maintaining the Trident nuclear programme — including safely dismantling and disposing of redundant warheads — and maintaining the ability to design a new nuclear weapon, should such be required.

AWE researchers also work to develop the skills, technologies and methods that might be required to support future arms limitation treaties.

According to the AWE, they are also “the technical authority for the UK’s radiological and nuclear portal detection network.

“We support the UK Government in its defence against the smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials into the country.

“Our Nuclear Threat Reduction specialists have developed the specifications for a highly sensitive passive radiation detection system that allows for the identification of tiny variations in the background radiation to find undeclared and concealed radioactive material.

“We collaborate with the international community to develop new systems with greater sensitivity that will ensure the UK border remains safe.”

AWE experts also specialise in the development and practising of nuclear forensics capabilities.

This allows the researchers to recreate the design of a detonated nuclear weapon based on rapid diagnostics, sample collection, radiochemical analysis and device assessment.

The AWE said: “Our staff develop unique insights on the nuclear and radiological threats facing the UK along with a deep technical knowledge of nuclear weapons.

“They regularly collaborate with international counterparts and work with the Government to provide guidance on international nuclear matters.”

NASA’s Curiosity discovers mysterious ‘doorway’ on Mars [REPORT]
Lunar eclipse 2022: The best time to see Blood Moon tonight in the UK [INSIGHT]
UK defence expert reveals weapon for Ukraine to ‘end stalemate’ [ANALYSIS]

One of the AWE sites — Blacknest, which was formerly part of the Ministry of Defence — serves a very particular purpose.

For 40 years, experts at the Reading-based Blacknest have specialised in forensic seismology, researching techniques that allow the distinction between natural earthquakes and those ground tremors generated by underground nuclear explosions.

This expertise has in the past been used to provide assessments for the UK government on the nuclear capacities of other countries based on analysis of the explosions they produce.

Such is expected to underpin Britain’s contribution to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban treaty, which was adopted by the UN back in 1996, but has yet to enter into force.

Eight nations have still to ratify the treaty — China, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States.

Source: Read Full Article