Anti-nuclear campaigners have responded to the news of the Atomic Weapons Establishment’s application to raise radiation levels from its site in Berkshire.

CND spokesperson Dr Ian Fairlie, a radiation expert, said:

“While the radiation amounts appear to be relatively low in the AWE application, they represent a 23-fold increase, and we should note that the 100 megabequerels quantity given is a cumulative figure for the whole year. If radiation is released into the water supply in spikes, this could still present a danger to people living in Britain.”

Dave Webb, CND chair, said:

“The reason given for the increase in radiation is to carry out tests to prepare for nuclear terrorism, but the root cause of nuclear terrorism is being side-stepped by the British government. Dangerous nuclear materials, that could fall into the hands of terrorists, are being transferred around the world because of our own nuclear weapons system and the nuclear power industry.

“Unless we work internationally to eradicate nuclear weapons – by cancelling Trident replacement and supporting the United Nations nuclear weapons ban – as well as scrapping plans to build a new generation of nuclear power stations, the threat of nuclear terrorism will continue to grow.”