Office for Nuclear Regulation

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BAE Systems Marine Limited (BAESML) - Devonshire Dock Complex - Planned Intervention

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This was a planned inspection at BAE Systems Marine Limited’s (BAESML’s) Devonshire Dock Complex (DDC) nuclear licensed site at Barrow, undertaken as part of the planned intervention strategy for the DDC site for 2015/16.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

On 4 November 2015 a joint ONR / Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR) team assessed the annual Level 11 emergency exercise “INDIGO 15”.  This emergency exercise was intended to demonstrate BAESML’s arrangements, under Licence Condition 11 (LC11) and Authorisation Condition 11 (AC11) “emergency arrangements”, for dealing with any accident or emergency arising on the site and their effects.

In addition the nominated site inspector undertook planned information gathering.  This included:

  1. Attending a scoping meeting for Level 22 emergency exercise INDIGO 16 that relates to a scenario at the Wet Dock Quay in July 2016.
  2. Attending an emergency planning sub-committee meeting.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable.

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

We considered that BAESML’s aims and objectives for the emergency exercise were appropriate and that a suitably challenging scenario had been defined.  During its assessment of the emergency exercise, the team identified a number of good points and a number of points for improvement.  These will be included in a joint DNSR/ ONR exercise assessment letter to BAESML.  Taking into account the exercise scenario and all the team’s exercise assessments we considered the exercise to be an adequate demonstration of the site’s emergency arrangements.  Taking all these factors into account ONR rated the LC11 demonstration exercise as adequate.

In relation to the discussion of Level 2 emergency exercise INDIGO 16, I suggested that a modular testing plan was proposed for the Wet Dock Quay and the Ramsden Dock Basin to optimise testing of the off-site emergency plans for these two separate premises.

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence gathered during this intervention, no matters have been identified that are likely to have a significant impact on nuclear safety on the site at this time.  Therefore, no further regulatory action arising from this visit is considered necessary.


  1. A Level 1 emergency exercise tests the on-site emergency plan.
  2. A Level 2 emergency exercise tests the off-site emergency plan.