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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
South East MEP in nuclear protest
An MEP has joined protesters in a blockade at a nuclear weapons factory.

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP for South East England, took part in a protest organised by Block the Builders at the Aldermaston site in Berkshire.

The aim of the protest was to disrupt work on the construction of new weapons-related facilities at the site.

Thames Valley Police say about 50 protesters took part in the blockade and officers made ten arrests.

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

We will continue to peacefully disrupt work at Aldermaston until the government calls a halt to its plans
Caroline Lucas, MEP for South East England
Ms Lucas has previously called for a public inquiry into plans for the expansion of the Aldermaston factory.

She said: "Documents obtained recently from the MoD under the Freedom of Information Act confirm that Aldermaston-based warhead convoys are vulnerable to accidental detonation and we will continue to peacefully disrupt work at Aldermaston until the government calls a halt to its plans."

Campaigners gathered at the factory at about 0700 BST on Monday in an attempt to stop workers getting on site.

Officers from Thames Valley Police put up a restriction zone to contain protesters outside the factory grounds.

'Business as usual'

Sian Jones from Block the Builders said they still managed to disrupt traffic in the area and she was happy with how the protest went.

She told BBC News Interactive: "We've had good support from people in some position who care about this issue, so we've had some success.

"Although the government says a decision hasn't been taken yet on a replacement for Trident, from where we are here in Aldermaston, it looks as though that decision has been taken."

A spokeswoman from AWE said people had a right to protest but the demonstration was nothing out of the ordinary and it was business as usual at the facility.


SEE ALSO
Residents in nuclear waste talks
09 May 06 |  Berkshire
Atomic research site sees protest
10 Apr 06 |  Berkshire

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