Office for Nuclear Regulation

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HM Nuclear Installations Inspectorate

Relicensing the Atomic Weapons Establishment Sites to AWE plc


Verification of the Site Boundaries and Maps

61. Maps showing the extent of the site were provided by AWE plc in support of the licence application. There were no changes to the site boundaries. The NII site inspector has confirmed that the boundaries of the licensed sites corresponded with those shown on the maps submitted by AWE plc. Signs delineating the licensed site boundaries and specifying the name of the new licensee have been installed.

Security of Tenure

62. HSE's licensing policy is to ensure that a nuclear licensee has full rights of access to and control of the site, so that it can satisfy the demands placed upon it by the licence and the Nuclear Installations Act. When granting a licence HSE requires evidence of security of tenure to show that sufficient consideration has been given to such issues. The best evidence is normally a lease or some other legally binding contract or documentation setting out the relationship between the licensee and the owner of the site.

63. The AWE sites and the assets on them are the property of the MoD. MoD has granted a licence to AWE plc enabling the latter to use the premises and equipment for the period of the Management and Operation Contract between MoD and AWE ML. MoD has also indicated that, so far as can be foreseen, AWE plc will have access to all the AWE premises and equipment for as long as they exist, irrespective of any changes of the Management and Operation Contractor. AWE ML does not have any rights of access or control over the premises and equipment on the site.

Consents under Licence Condition 3 - Leases, etc.

64. Licence Condition 3 Consents are not necessary for leases etc. if they form part of the basis for granting a new licence. They are used thereafter to ensure effective control of any proposed changes and of proposed new leases etc. There are currently no leases etc. granted to other bodies in respect of land comprising the licensed site. However certain buildings and parts of buildings are occupied by MoD.

65. The wording of LC3 as used for AWE sites differs from the standard wording as follows (variations are underlined):

  1. The licensee shall not convey, assign, transfer, let or part with possession of the site or any part thereof or grant any licence in relation thereto except to the Secretary of State for Defence without the consent of the Executive.
  2. The licensee shall notify the Executive forthwith if occupancy of the site or any part thereof is taken by the Secretary of State for Defence.