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Environment Fury as scandal-hit nuclear agency demands 23-fold radiation emissions increase

CAMPAIGNERS have gone nuclear after the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) applied this week to increase radiation output from its Berkshire site by over 2,000 per cent.

AWE, which produces Trident nuclear warheads, had two sites placed in renewed special measures last August over safety concerns.

Now the company is asking the Environment Agency to raise the 4.4 megabecquerel radiation limit to 100MBq for tests it claims will help counter nuclear terrorism.

But the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) said it was nuclear proliferation that increases chances of dangerous material falling into hostile hands. The group also sounded the alarm over the risk to public health.

CND radiation expert Ian Fairlie said: “While radiation amounts appear relatively low in the application, they represent a 23-fold increase. If radiation is released into the water supply in spikes, this could present a danger.”

AWE claims that radiation will have “minimal impact” on the local area, which includes urban centres such as Reading. A consultation with residents has been launched.

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