"Efforts to tackle a major fire at Britain's top secret nuclear weapons research site were plagued by poor communication, faulty fire hydrants, safety breaches and repeated confusion, according to an internal fire service report seen by the Guardian.
"The official inquiry into the blaze last August at the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment (Awe) by the Royal Berkshire fire and rescue service contains strong criticism of the nuclear plant's firefighting performance. There were "numerous problems" with the way the emergency was tackled, the report said. Aldermaston's on-duty emergency controller was "overwhelmed by the demands of the incident and unable to effectively provide the information required".
"The fire started just after 9pm on 3 August when a solvent used in making explosives, methyl ethyl ketone, burst into flames. It burned for nearly nine hours overnight in a building within Aldermaston's explosives technology facility and it took 16 fire appliances and 68 firefighters to put it out."