The Atomic Weapons Establishment could lose 1,400 jobs – a third of its workforce – over the next 10 years under a new management consortium led by British Nuclear Fuels, unions have been warned.
The consortium of BNFL and Lockheed Martin and Serco of the US was due to take over the management of the AWE sites from Hunting Brae next month. However, the switch has been postponed pending a review of BNFL’s safety record in the wake of the row over the falsification of quality assurance documentation on fuel it sent to Japan.
The new management team is expected to axe 400 jobs at the AWE’s Aldermaston and Burghfield plants in the first six months of its remit.
The Ministry of Defence warned last November that 1,400 jobs were likely to be cut but said the majority would go through natural wastage. Unions are pressing for any redundancies to be voluntary.