And they call it an "independent" nuclear deterrent

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And they call it an "independent" nuclear deterrent

Post  Aggressive Voltage on Sat 20 Dec 2008 - 2:41

I just saw it on the news, and found this via Google:

AWE Aldermaston now in US hands
Posted by jossc on 19 December 2008



Trident - costs and 'independence' are both spinning out of control

The management of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, the 'bomb factory' which makes and maintains the UK's nuclear warheads, is now controlled by private US companies following the sale of the government's 33 per cent holding yesterday.

The news, a further nail in the coffin of the flimsy pretence that Britain has an independent nuclear deterent, only came to light in a three line press statement released by BNFL, the state-owned group which officially 'owned' the government's stake.

The government itself made no official announcement, either in Parliament, through the Ministry of Defence, or the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR), which oversaw the sale. Since it still owns the land on which AWE sits, plus a 'golden share' in holding company AWE plc, it thinks that it can maintain the fiction that this development doesn't indicate a further merging of the UK and US weapons programmes.

http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/peace/awe-aldermaston-now-us-hands-20081219
It's often said that that one of the advantages of staying in the UK is that it enables us to be a power on the world stage. But something like this will make it look like the UK has no real power, and is just in the pocket of the US. Because it's true. It will make a mockery of the UK's credibility on the world stage ... because it is one more reason why any UK government cannot afford to take a position that differs from that of the Americans.
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Re: And they call it an "independent" nuclear deterrent

Post  Aderyn y Si on Sun 21 Dec 2008 - 19:47

Nick Harvey of the Lib Dems made a point in the Independent's version of the story:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/secret-nuclear-selloff-storm-1204979.html

He said:

The whole argument used for Britain having a separate weapons establishment is that this is required by the [nuclear] non-proliferation treaty, as technology-sharing is not allowed.
Not sure about that. Britain and the US have been technology-sharing ever since 1958

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1958_US-UK_Mutual_Defence_Agreement

The Non-Proliferation Treaty is a bit of a joke anyway. It placed an obligation on the then five nuclear powers to disarm, something they have never seriously tried to do.
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Re: And they call it an "independent" nuclear deterrent

Post  sionnyn on Wed 13 May 2009 - 21:20

I once met a man, working for Logica (as was I) who had been in charge of 'Quality Control' on the Arian 5 mission (you remember - the one that went up a bit, then cam down quite a bit faster!) . He didn't like it when I laughed. he said 'My bit Worked!'.

That was the one where one lot were working in SI, the other in Imperial. Quality?

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