Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE investigation

Date released
8 April 2020
Request number
202002067
Release of information under
Freedom of Information Act 2000

Information requested

I have been directed to this process following an investigation by yourselves into an electrical near miss at AWE Aldermaston of a Gully Howard Technical employee.

Following the near miss several of your colleagues began an investigation; we require the conclusion of this investigation to complete our own.

Unfortunately AWE have avoided our enquiries and requirements for documentation and our hope is that with the powers you have we will be able to maximise our learning points and improvements moving forward.

Information released

I confirm under Section 1 of the FOIA that we hold the information related to your request. However, we are withholding the information under Section 31 - Law Enforcement of the FOIA . This is because at the time of your request the relevant investigation has not yet been completed.

Section 31 sets out the exemption from the right to know where disclosure of the information requested would or would be likely to prejudice law enforcement interests.

We consider section 31(1)(g) to apply to the report in your request as its disclosure would be likely to prejudice ONR’s exercise of its functions. Public authorities in applying this exemption must identify one of the applicable purposes specified in section 31(2) and explain how that purpose would be prejudiced by the disclosure.

We consider the relevant connected purpose to be in section 31(2)(i) which concerns the purpose of securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at work.

As this is a qualified exemption, we are required to balance the public interest between disclosure and non-disclosure. We have therefore applied the Public Interest Test, as set out below:

Section 31(1)(g) and 31(2)(i) FOIA – Law enforcement

Factors for release:

Factors against release:

Conclusion

Based on our assessment of the factors above, we have concluded that the requested information should be withheld under Section 31 (1)(g), and Section 31 (2)(i) of FOIA 2000. The public interest favours non-disclosure in the present case as disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice ONR’s exercise of its regulatory functions for the purposes of securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at work, particularly given the stage of the specific investigation.   

Exemptions applied

Section 1, 31(1)(g) and 31(2)(i)

PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable

Yes, please see above.