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Update: Prosecution of AWE

The forthcoming court case between The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) will be a virtual hearing due to COVID-19.

The case will be heard remotely by District Judge Malcolm Dodds, of High Wycombe and Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Courts, at the original date and time of Monday, 7 December, 2020, at 2pm.

ONR announced in September that AWE will be prosecuted under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (1974).

The charge relates to an incident on 20 June, 2019, at the AWE Aldermaston site which resulted in a contractor narrowly avoiding injury when a flash over of electricity occurred from a 415V electrical source. The incident was a conventional health and safety matter and took place in a ‘non-nuclear’ building, so there was no radiological risk to workers or the public.

Media and other interested parties can follow proceedings online. ONR will publish the verdict and a brief statement shortly after the hearing via our website and social media.

* On behalf of the court, please note that the normal rules apply to any person attending a court case in person or remotely, namely that:

  • They cannot make an audio or visual recording of the hearing as this is an offence.
  • They cannot photograph or take an image of anyone at the hearing as this is an offence.
  • They cannot distribute any audio or visual recording of the hearing on social media since as this is an offence.
  • They can make a written record of what happens during the hearing and put that in the public domain subject to any orders the parties ask me to make restricting publicity.

Enquiries about this case from bona fide journalists should be directed to the ONR press office on 0203 028 0505.