“Unique" new facility steps up response to radiological threats

James Brokenshire has said a new state-of-the art forensics laboratory will provide the UK with a “world class” facility to prosecute crimes involving nuclear or radiological material. The new centre which was opened by the Minister for Crime and Security will allow investigators to carry out forensic examinations – such as fingerprinting or DNA testing – on material contaminated by radiation.

The Conventional Forensics Analysis Capability (CFAC) lab based at Aldermaston has the capability to receive some radiological, nuclear and explosively contaminated evidence, and then analyse the evidence for traditional forensics purposes.  The facility will combine the resources and expertise of specialists from the police, forensic science service providers and other organisations.

Commenting on the opening James said:

“I am delighted and proud to open the new CFAC laboratory at AWE Aldermaston. The successful delivery of this laboratory is as a result of the strong collaboration between the Home Office, our MOD colleagues and the AWE project team.”

“This unique, world-class facility plays a major role in how we respond to nuclear and national security threats and sets international standards in incident response. It will make a significant difference to our understanding of forensics, helping us to bring to justice those people involved in terrorism, ensuring we keep our country safe.”

“The laboratory means we will have a greater technical response capability in helping the Home Office investigate and prosecute terrorist use of an improvised radiological or nuclear device. We will also have the forensic ability to trace the source of nuclear and radiological materials, by working through their unique chemical and physical 'fingerprints'.”