Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned intervention at Devonport Royal Dockyard Limited site

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report covers attendance at the Devonport site for routine engagement and inspection activity. The meetings were undertaken as part of a series of planned interventions supporting ONR’s DRDL Intervention strategy.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

ONR’s Devonport Lead Site Inspector held planned update meetings with DRDL’s Head of Nuclear Facilities Operations (with DNSR) and DRDL’s Assurance Director. ONR and DNSR attended the HMNB (D) Level 1 Regulatory Interface Forum (RIF) and the DRDL Level 1 Regulatory Interface Meeting (RIM). ONR and DNSR also observed a planned joint DRDL / HMNB (D) Emergency Exercise and a demonstration of DRDL’s revised emergency call out arrangements.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


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

The joint DRDL / HMNB (D) Emergency Exercise and Submarine Refit Complex (SRC) Evacuation were observed by an ONR / DNSR team of inspectors.  The exercise scenario was based on the reference accident event during normal working hours on a fictional Trafalgar Class submarine moored at 8 Wharf. The relatively limited scope and extent of the exercise and evacuation resulted in ‘live’ play being limited to the incident area, the Forward Command Post (FCP), the Exclusion Zone Reception Centre (EZRC), the SRC, and Shelter Station C.

The Regulators judged that there was an adequate performance of the FCP, the intervention teams, and the EZRC. The SRC evacuation to Shelter Station C involved several hundred people but was well controlled and Shelter Station C was well managed. ONR also observed a separate out of hours demonstration of the DRDL / HMNB (D) revised emergency call out arrangements. ONR judged this to be adequate.

In summary, ONR and DNSR judged the Emergency Exercise and the SRC Evacuation Exercise to be an adequate demonstration of the emergency arrangements overall. However, it did reveal some areas for learning and for potential improvement that require consideration by DRDL and HMNB (D) which will be followed up by ONR and DNSR.

Conclusion of Intervention

No additional regulatory concerns were identified as a result of this intervention and future engagement will continue as detailed in the DRDL Intervention Strategy.