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What we do

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Our history

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Site safety and security

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Connecting communities

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About us

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Orion laser facility

Orion is one of the most powerful lasers and largest laser facilities in the UK.

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A unique national asset

We have unique nuclear expertise. We have a clear purpose and goals that set our direction.

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World-class expertise

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Working ethically

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AWEsome education

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Local Liaison Committee

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Our regulators

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Supply chain

The supply chain is crucial to the delivery of our programme. What does it take to be a supplier.

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Local Liaison Committee

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International partners

We seek to drive better value and efficiencies through collaborative international relationships.

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Working at AWE

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Before you apply

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Supporting the UK's deterrent

We’re proud to have played a central role in the defence of the United Kingdom for more than 60 years. Keeping our world safe and secure, we provide and maintain nuclear warheads for the UK’s Continuous At Sea Deterrent, Trident. 

From our inception in 1950 to our expanded role today, using unique skills and expertise we provide UK Government with national nuclear security solutions, and we continue to play a vital role in the national interest. 

Working to the programme required by the Ministry of Defence, we provide and maintain warheads for the Trident system. Trident is an operational system consisting of four Vanguard class submarines, operated by the Royal Navy ensuring a continuous at sea deterrent, 24/7/365. 

We work across the entire life cycle of warheads – everything, from initial concept and design, to manufacture and assembly, in-service support, and finally decommissioning and disposal, ensuring maximum safety and protecting national security at all times. It is also our responsibility to maintain the capability to produce a successor system should the UK Government require it in the future.

Our nuclear know-how and technical expertise also helps Government develop and deliver a range of innovative and integrated support services, including national nuclear security and counter-terrorism solutions. 

As you would expect, the work we do is highly regulated and we operate to the highest standards of safety and national security at all times.  

A unique scientific challenge 

As the UK is a signatory to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), our work to maintain and support the Trident system is carried out without actual nuclear testing. 

This creates extraordinary scientific and technical challenges – something we tackle head-on and continue to invest in. We rely on cutting-edge science and computational methodologies to verify the safety and effectiveness of the warhead stockpile. We make sure that we always have the right skills and technical facilities available to achieve this.

Our unique expertise also enables us to provide support to international arms control treaties, such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT is an international treaty with the objective of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, promoting cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament, and general and complete disarmament.