Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Licence Condition 6 inspection at AWE

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report covers an intervention carried out as part of ONR’s regulation of operations undertaken at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE).

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

This intervention is a reactive Compliance Inspection undertaken on a Major Project against the requirements of Licence Condition 6 (LC6 – Documents, Records, Authorities and Certificates).

The licence condition was inspected against ONR’s published guidance requirements, as described in our technical inspection guides, which can be found at Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) Compliance inspection - Technical inspection guides.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A.

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

The purpose of this reactive LC6 compliance inspection was to review management arrangements and seek assurance that AWE had not disposed of hard copies of Major Project records and documents described in a Project Manager’s Instruction (PMI) in an uncontrolled manner.

Discussions held with AWE Corporate and AWE Major Project staff were open and constructive.

The inspection included a review of the management arrangements at both corporate and project level. The licensee has established arrangements at each level, but I concluded that they lack alignment.

The inspection included a review of the management system for PMIs and I concluded that PMIs are not defined within the management system. I judge that the lack of a defined process for PMIs within the management system has the potential to lead to breaches of licence conditions. This is primarily due to the lack of a process to consult relevant licence condition owners prior to the issue and implementation of PMIs that may affect licence conditions.

I acknowledge that AWE has recently carried out an internal audit on Capital Projects – Document Control and Configuration and Contract Record Files. This has been rated “yellow” by AWE and an improvement action plan has been requested.

I received assurance that AWE is not disposing of hard copies of Major Project records and documents described in a Project Manager’s Instruction in an uncontrolled manner.

From the evidence sampled during this inspection, I judge that compliance with LC6 – Documents, Records, Authorities and Certificates, is rated “amber” and I am seeking improvement due to the lack of aligned AWE corporate and AWE Major Project arrangements and the use of a project process that has the potential to adversely affect nuclear safety.

Conclusion of Intervention

AWE agreed to provide an improvement plan to address the points raised. ONR will review this and follow up progress.