Office for Nuclear Regulation

AWE Aldermaston and Burghfield


  • Operator/Licensee: Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)
  • Parent body organisation: Ministry of Defence
  • Type of site: Operational/Defence
  • Location: Aldermaston & Burghfield, Berkshire

AWE website

AWE Burghfield - Copyright MOD


AWE Aldermaston covers a site of approximately 750 acres. Once a wartime airfield, today Aldermaston undertakes advanced research, design and manufacturing. A former munitions factory, AWE Burghfield is a 225-acre site where warheads are assembled and maintained while in service, and decommissioned when out of service.

In the 2021 Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, the Government reaffirmed that the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent will remain essential to UK security for as long as the global security situation demands.  AWE’s declared mission is to “deliver nuclear warheads for the UK’s deterrent, and use our expertise to support national security”

The work at AWE covers the entire life cycle of nuclear warheads; from initial concept, assessment and design, through to component manufacture and assembly, in-service support, and finally decommissioning and disposal.