Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE compliance inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report covers interventions carried out as part of ONR's regulation of operations undertaken at the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

One intervention covering planned Compliance Inspections undertaken on project Mensa against the requirements of Licence Condition 33 (LC33 - Disposal of radioactive waste) and LC35 (Decommissioning).

One intervention covering AWE's application of the requirements of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM2015).

General interventions covering other regulatory matters.

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


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

The Compliance Inspections on LC33 and LC35 undertaken on Mensa were timed to remind AWE of the requirements to appropriately cover disposal of wastes and decommissioning in the next major Mensa Safety Case submission; Pre-Construction Safety Report 4 (PCSR4) bearing in mind the recent design changes implemented and pending on the project. AWE's performance was considered to be adequate and no formal action is required of AWE following this Intervention.

Constructive and open discussions characterised the CDM2015 intervention undertaken at corporate level and on the Mensa project. It was apparent that corporately AWE has undertaken significant work in establishing the impact of the revised Regulations. It was also apparent that on project Mensa those requirements have been appropriately rolled-out. No formal action following this intervention was required from AWE.

Mensa programmes of work were reviewed by ONR during a Health Check run by AWE Internal Regulation. Consistency between the critical paths of concurrent programmes used at different levels within the project was not observed.

Conclusion of Intervention

AWE should work on improving the linkage and maintenance of governance programmes on the Mensa project.