Catalogue description Ministry of Supply and United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Atomic Energy Division and London Office: Files

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Details of AB 16
Reference: AB 16
Title: Ministry of Supply and United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Atomic Energy Division and London Office: Files

This series contains registered files from the Ministry of Supply Atomic Energy Division's 330 file series, unregistered Atomic Energy Division files which were later given LO (London Office) numbers and placed in a miscellaneous series with other non-330 series files with various file series codes. From 1954 the series consists of files originating in the London Office of UKAEA. The subject matter covers the central administration and planning functions of the UK's atomic energy bodies, including organization, personnel and establishment matters, publicity, censorship, legislation, international co-operation, central committees, building works, raw materials, health and safety, research and development, finance, procurement, accounts, contracts and commercial policy, legal matters and patents. There are files relating to all the UK's atomic energy sites and centres and to the Combined Development Agency.

Date: 1939-2003
Related material:

Other files in the 330 series and the renumbered LO series can be found in AB 1

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Directorate of Tube Alloys, 1941-1945

Ministry of Supply, Atomic Energy Division, Department of Atomic Energy, 1946-1954

Ministry of Supply, Atomic Energy Division, London Office, 1946-1954

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, London Office, 1954-

Physical description: 4895 file(s)
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

From 1974 United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority

Accruals: No future accruals expected
Administrative / biographical background:

During the Second World War, responsibility for the British atomic energy work (which began in April 1940) had been vested first in the Ministry of Aircraft Production and then in the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. D.S.I.R. had set up a special division called the Directorate of the Tube Alloys (DTA) for this purpose. At the end of 1943 a number of leading British scientists were transferred to the United States to assist in the development and production of atomic bombs by the Manhattan Project; a few had already gone to Canada to help start an atomic establishment, and in consequence atomic energy work in the United Kingdom virtually closed down.

Immediately after the war, a large-scale atomic energy project was put in hand. Responsibility for it was placed on the Ministry of Supply, as the department best equipped to deal both with big research establishments and with industrial projects. This decision was embodied in the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 which gave the Minister of Supply wide powers "to produce, use and dispose of atomic energy and to carry out research into any matters connected therewith". In the interim period a caretaker body (the Department of Atomic Energy) was set up under the Lord President of the Council.

The responsibility of the Ministry of Supply for atomic energy research lasted from 1946 to 1954, when it was transferred by the Atomic Energy Authority Act to a new non-departmental organisation, the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority.

During the Ministry of Supply period, the Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE) was set up at Harwell, near Oxford, and an industrial organisation at Risley, near Warrington.

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