Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE readiness inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The purpose of the intervention was to undertake a readiness inspection prior to ONR agreeing to the start of inactive commissioning of furnaces in a laboratory facility, following a request from AWE. I also obtained further information as part of a system based inspection into site communications. The systems based inspection was planned in the Weapons inspection plan.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

During this intervention I visited a laboratory facility to inspect the arrangements in place to prevent process material being placed into a furnace prior to ONR agreeing to the inactive commissioning of the furnaces. I also met with the licensee's personnel to obtain information on the site communications systems as part of a Systems Based Inspection which covers a number of licence conditions.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

The System Based Inspection was not completed during the site intervention. I was provided with additional information and have also requested more details on one aspect of the system. A future Intervention Record will be produced recording my judgement of the system based inspection.

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

Having visited the plant areas and inspected the controls in place to secure process material within the laboratory facility, I considered the controls that AWE had applied to prevent this material being placed into the furnaces to be reasonable and I agreed, recorded at the relevant Regulatory Interface Meeting, that inactive commissioning of the furnaces could proceed.

Conclusion of Intervention

I considered the controls to prevent process material being placed into the furnaces to be appropriate. I was unable to conclude the system based inspection as I require additional information.