Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned interventions carried out as part of the regulation of AWE

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report covers planned interventions carried out as part of the regulation of the Atomic Weapons Establishment. Planned Compliance Inspections form part of the identified intervention programmes of work specified in the Integrated Intervention Strategy and Major Projects Intervention Plan for the ONR Weapons Sub-Programme.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I attended AWE’s Aldermaston site to assist with a Licence Condition (LC) 11 (Emergency arrangements) Compliance Inspection. I also attended the Burghfield site to undertake compliance inspections on the Mensa project in relation to LC19 (Construction or installation of new plant), LC20 (Modification to design of plant under construction), LC14 (Safety documentation), LC10 (Training) and LC12 (Duly authorised and other suitably qualified and experienced Persons).

The intervention was performed in line with ONR’s guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides) in the areas inspected.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


Key Findings, Inspector's Opinions and Reasons for Judgements Made

The LC14 Compliance Inspection was unannounced to AWE. ONR found that AWE had achieved an IIS Rating of Adequate for compliance against this LC. Company processes are understood and in the major part followed, but some discrepancy was identified. ONR suggested that document review needs to be focussed on individual documents to aid clarity rather than groups of documents. Corporately, no arrangements were identified covering the formal reconciliation of Assurance requirements against engineering substantiation.

The LC10 and LC12 Compliance Inspections were carried out coincidentally. ONR found that AWE had achieved an IIS Rating of Adequate against both LCs. The Project has good plans in place for the evolution of training. However, knowledge of a key corporate procedure on the project was absent and the appointment of Duly Authorised Persons (DAPs) needs to be progressed. Arrangements for monitoring of competencies need to be further developed. Ownership of the Corporate Standards viewed is unclear , although this is not a Project matter.

Conclusion of Intervention

During this Compliance Inspection AWE achieved an IIS Rating of Adequate against LC14, LC10 and LC12.

It is my opinion that:

I will progress these matter through ONR’s issues database.