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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006, 08:45 GMT 09:45 UK
Residents in nuclear waste talks
Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment
AWE is the headquarters of Britain's nuclear development programme
Residents living near two nuclear weapons factories in Berkshire are being asked for their views on plans for the disposal of radioactive waste.

The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) sites, at Aldermaston and Burghfield, are the headquarters of Britain's nuclear development programme.

Public consultation into new proposals for getting rid of gas, liquid and solid waste begins on 15 May.

The use of an additional incinerator site at Colnbrook is being considered.

The public now have a vital role to play in helping us set out the conditions of the company's authorisation
David Griffiths, Environment Agency

AWE is also seeking a disposal route for tritium contaminated building waste left after decommissioning work at Aldermaston.

David Griffiths, a nuclear regulator for the Environment Agency, said the public now had a "vital" role in setting the limits of AWE's waste disposal programme.

Powerful laser

"We want to ensure that AWE continues to safely manage its radioactive waste disposals from these sites.

"We have put forward our proposals for the two sites, and the public now have a vital role to play in helping us set out the conditions of the company's authorisation."

Protests resulting in several arrests have been held at AWE recently, since plans for a multi-million pound expansion and upgrade - named Project Orion - were announced.

A new building is earmarked to house Project Orion, a powerful laser to help develop a successor to Trident, the UK's current nuclear weapons system.

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