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         Frisch-Peierls Memorandum
         UK Decides to Develop Nuclear Weapons
         Aldermaston Airfield Taken Over
         First UK Nuclear Device Successfully Detonated
         Blue Danube Nuclear Bomb Delivered to RAF
         Grapple Series Begins at Christmas Island
         UK/US Agreement
         Red Beard (tactical) Enters Service
         Yellow Sun MK.2 Enters Service
         Blue Steel Nuclear Missile Enters Service
         UK Mounts First Underground Nuclear Test (UGT)
         WE 177 Free-Fall Bomb Enters Service
         First Polaris Subarine - HMS Resolution - Operational
         UK Starts Chevaline Programme
         Pochin Report Recommends Improved Safety Procedures
         HELEN Laser Opened by HM the Queen
         Mogul-D Commissioned
         AWRE Becomes Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)
         Government Announces AWE to be 'contractorized'
         Hunting-BRAE Ltd. Awarded Phase 2 Management Contract
         Cray C98D Super Computer Installed
         Plutonium Facility A90 Fully Operational
         North Ponds Water Management System Commissioned
         Fiftieth Anniversary of Opening AWRE Aldermaston
         AWE Management Ltd Win Management Contract
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UK/US Agreement

On 2 July 1958, President Eisenhower signed amendments to the 1954 US Atomic Energy Act which opened the way to a bilateral agreement between Britain and America on nuclear weapon design information.

The turning point had come in October 1956, ironically with a disagreement, when America had refused to support the stance of Britain, France and Israel over the Suez crisis.

To compensate Britain for the international political embarrassment suffered, by 1957 Eisenhower was increasingly determined to improve nuclear relations with Britain.

In August of that year, the Soviet Union resumed nuclear weapons testing, a direct and negative response to an American suggestion that the USA would suspend testing if the Soviets ceased production of fissionable material for weapons.

And the launch of Sputnik later in 1957 lead to a radical reappraisal of the Soviets' technical capabilities. At the same time, Anglo-American discussions on nuclear propulsion units for submarines and for stationing ballistic missiles on British soil were also in danger of stalling.

Now, with the Act amended, the inertia could be overcome. Hot on the heels of the amendment came the signing, on 3 July 1958, of the Agreement for Co-operation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes.

The Agreement permitted an exchange of classified information which effectively would allow British delivery systems to be fitted with warheads based on American designs, as well as to improve the technical capability of both parties to the agreement in the field of nuclear weapons.

In July 1959, an important amendment to the 1958 Agreement came into force which extended co-operation by - inter alia - permitting Anglo-American purchases and exchanges of fissile and thermonuclear material.

The technical exchanges which followed have been a cornerstone of life for the British nuclear weapon community ever since.

Based around a series of Joint Working Groups, each concentrating on a specific area of physics, engineering and materials science, Aldermaston's specialists have for more than forty years been able to exchange and develop ideas with their counterparts from the American Laboratories to the benefit of the nuclear weapons programme on both sides of the Atlantic.