Office for Nuclear Regulation

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System Based Inspection (SBI) at Aldermaston

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to undertake a System Based Inspection (SBI) at Aldermaston in line with the planned inspection programme contained in the AWE Integrated Intervention Strategy and associated Intervention Plans.

I also attended several meetings where I received updates on the AWE progress towards close out of previously identified regulatory issues.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

During the intervention I carried out the following inspection / activities:

SBI on Containment and Ventilation systems in a radioactive material processing facility that examined compliance with Licence Conditions (LCs) 10, 23, 24, 27, 28 and 34.

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

I judged that there was adequate implementation of the safety case requirements applicable to the containment and ventilation system.  Evidence was found of compliance shortfalls in some individual licence conditions.  

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

I noted that the AWE Internal Regulation department had previously carried out system based inspections on the ventilation and containment system in the radioactive facility in question.  I reviewed these reports and concluded that they were thorough and to a large extent met ONR’s expectations for a system based inspection.  The contribution that the AWE internal regulation team has made in this area was noted along with the opportunity for the AWE team’s future inspection programme to be used to inform ONR’s intervention plans.

I endorsed the conclusions and findings of the AWE Internal Regulation team on the ventilation and containment system and examined compliance in some areas outside the scope of the AWE reports.  I found some additional compliance shortfalls against LC 23 (Operating rules), LC 24 (Operating instructions) and LC 28 (Examination, inspection, maintenance and testing).    The appropriate corrective actions will discussed and agreed with  AWE.

Conclusion of Intervention

In the areas I inspected during the intervention I found an adequate implementation of the safety case requirements for the ventilation and containment safety systems within a radioactive material processing facility.

A number of issues/actions for improvement will be agreed with the site and progressed as appropriate using ONR’s Regulatory Issues management system.