RADIATION specialists from the Aldermaston nuclear weapons factory were called in after a canister of radioactive material was found in a garden last night.

Experts from the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) were called to Giles Road in Tadley at around 10pm after the owner discovered the labelled canister in their shed.

The alarm was raised at around 8.30pm and firefighters evacuated 16 homes, but after recovering the container the AWE team confirmed that despite being radioactive it was very low-level and harmless to the public.

An AWE spokesman said: “We are continuing to work with the Environment Agency to determine the optimum disposal route.”