New Year did you know?
Some pointless AWE factoids of dubious accuracy for that ever unlikely pub quiz question.
1. In 2007 floods cost AWE £5million (which AWEplc claimed back from the MoD under the non-nuclear indemnity).
2. In 2012 corrosion was found in one of the steel columns supporting the uranium handling facility at AWE Aldermaston and production operations were halted.
3. The development of the first UK atomic weapon was started at Fort Halstead in Kent before operations transferred to AWE in 1950.
4. An early nuclear weapon design included a live chicken to keep it at working temperature.
5. AWE Aldermaston was 'disguised' for many years on Ordnance Survey maps as 'Aldermaston farm'.
6. Over 4,000 permanent staff and around 2,000 contractors work at AWE.
7. A high level nuclear waste repository is expected to be ready by 2079. Until then AWE is holding on. That's their plan.
8. There were over 4000 abnormal events affecting safety at AWE during 2008.
9. The in-service operating costs of nuclear weapons are about 5% of the overall defence budget, in addition to the cost of development and acquisition.
10. In May 2012 the MoD announced the next priced period of work had been agreed with AWE up to March 2018 at a rate of around £1bn a year. That's roughly double the expenditure on the successor submarine programme.
11. AWE Aldermaston is just a short distance from the Aldermaston Petroleum Supply Depot where highly flammable aviation fuel is stored and piped at high pressure to air bases around the UK.