Sharing of nuclear weapons technology
A controversial agreement which allows nuclear weapons technology to be shared between the United States of America and the United Kingdom undermines global non-proliferation efforts and should be reformed to make it relevant to work aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, according to a new report from Nuclear Information Service.
Safety awards withdrawn from UK nuclear bomb factories
Britain’s nuclear bomb factories have had three safety awards withdrawn because of a major fire, and they are now under investigation for faulty fire alarms in radioactive waste buildings. AWE, a private consortium that operates nuclear weapons facilities at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire for the Ministry of Defence, has been forced to return “gold awards” it won from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). This follows a £200,000 fine imposed in 2013 for breaching safety rules during a fire at an explosives plant that injured a worker in 2010.
Supercomputer upgrade at AWE
The UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) has begun using three SGI super-computing systems to help build and test the UK’s nuclear deterrent arsenal of war-heads. AWE is responsible for making, maintaining and decommissioning the war-heads used in the UK’s Trident system. The SGI’s supercomputer technology will be used to test the warheads in computer-generated scenarios as real-world tests are banned by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.