Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Compliance inspections at AWE Aldermaston

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to undertake Licence Condition (LC) compliance inspections at Aldermaston in line with the planned inspection programme contained in the AWE Integrated Intervention Strategy and associated Intervention Plans. 

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

During this intervention I carried out the following inspections/activities:

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

Not applicable during this inspection.

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

From the evidence sampled during this inspection I judge that the AWE, in its training programme for health physics surveyors, complies with the requirements of LC10 to an adequate standard.  The health physics surveyor training programme is not described in a procedure, nor specifically itemised in a surveyor’s job description which I consider to be a shortfall against both AWE’s own arrangements and in ONR’s expectations, although I note the relatively minor significance of this shortfall in this instance given the good level of common understanding shown by all personnel interviewed during this inspection.  I will raise a regulatory issue for AWE to consider how best to rectify this shortfall.

From the evidence sampled during this inspection I judge that the AWE, in its training and competence assessment programme for health physics surveyors, complies with the requirements of LC12 to an adequate standard.  In two areas, health physics surveyor competence is not recorded in accordance with AWE’s own corporate arrangements, but in both cases the local arrangements implemented meet ONR’s minimum expectations for LC12.  I will raise a regulatory issue for AWE to consider how best to rectify this shortfall against their own arrangements.

I followed up on progress in relation to regulatory issues relating to:

In all cases I consider that satisfactory progress towards closure is being made.

During my informal discussions, the following topics were discussed:

In all cases, whilst regulatory opinions were sought and given, they were done so in the form of advice to the licensee in developing their programmes of work going forward.

Conclusion of Intervention

The licensee’s progress against regulatory issues raised in relation to earlier interventions was monitored.

There are no findings from this inspection that could significantly undermine nuclear safety.

The planned interventions set out in the Integrated Intervention Strategy for Aldermaston remain valid and will be followed for future inspections.