Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned intervention at Devonport Royal Dockyard Limited site

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This intervention at the Devonport Royal Dockyard Limited (DRDL) licensed site was undertaken as part of the 2015/16 intervention plan and propulsion sub-programme strategy.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

As part of this intervention we examined DRDL’s licence condition (LC 21) arrangements for commissioning of any plant or processes which may affect safety. The areas targeted were the 14 dock Reactor Access House (RAH) structure and associated tooling. The intervention also included level 4 meetings for 9 dock plant management updates and information gathering for an event within the submarine refit complex (SRC).

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable

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

We witnessed evidence of a staged approach being adopted for LC21 commissioning activities with adequate checks and balances in place prior to moving from one stage to the next. There was good evidence of full and accurate record keeping both during and on completion of commissioning activities.

We observed adequate arrangements and test results for safety significant equipment. A graded approach has been adopted commensurate with the equipment’s nuclear safety significance, this includes the level of testing and test result acceptance. A graded approach was also evident to the level of quality checks applied to safety significant equipment.

We requested the Terms of Reference (TOR) for a number of commissioning personnel who had been appointed for controlling, witnessing, recording and assessing commissioning activities. The TOR’s highlighted principal tasks and responsibilities for individuals; however the TOR’s would benefit from further clarity and be more specific within the list of principal tasks and responsibilities for appointed roles.  

The 9 dock plant management meeting did not identify any significant safety concerns. A follow up was conducted into incidents recorded that related to contaminated equipment control, immediate actions undertaken by Site are deemed appropriate and steps are underway to address the investigation findings.

We carried out an information gathering exercise into the circumstances surrounding a non-compliance with identified operating instructions (IOI) which occurred within the SRC complex. This will enable ONR to judge what, if any, action may be required.

Conclusion of Intervention

We judged that the licensee’s arrangements for Commissioning of any plant or process which may affect safety are adequate. Some areas for improvement were identified which have been shared with the licensee but no significant weaknesses were identified.

No shortfalls or issues were found which adversely affected nuclear safety or were judged to be of such concern as to require immediate action, No regulatory issues were raised as a result of this intervention.