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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 April 2007, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
Police arrest 11 peace protesters
Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment
AWE is the headquarters of Britain's nuclear development programme
Eleven peace campaigners have been arrested during a protest at an atomic research base in Berkshire.

Activists staged the protest at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Aldermaston over plans to upgrade the UK's Trident nuclear defences.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said about 60 people took part in the demonstration at the site.

The spokesman said 11 people were arrested after a group of protesters blocked a section of the A340.

Short-term disruption

According to the police, officers only intervened "to minimise disruption to the community and to ensure the safety of the public".

Supt Robin Rickard said: "Some short-term disruption was caused and unfortunately members of the local community were affected, however this was minimal."

A spokeswoman from Trident Ploughshares, the organisers of the protest, said: "We've consistently now, since May 2005, had protests at Aldermaston organised by various different groups and organisations.

"And what we're seeing is more groups like Trident Ploughshares, for example, beginning to focus on Aldermaston in particular because of the new developments that are going ahead."

In March, the government won a Commons vote to renew Trident, despite 95 Labour MPs voting for the decision to be delayed.

AWE provides the warheads for Trident - the submarine-launched ballistic missile system that constitutes the UK's nuclear deterrent.

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