Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE LC36 Enhanced Inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report covers the planned LC36 enhanced inspection at both AWE Licensed Sites undertaken in accordance with ONR’s Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) for the Atomic Weapons Establishment Programme.

The inspections undertaken at the AWE Licensed Site form part of a series of planned interventions in accordance with the IIS and Integrated Intervention Plan (IIP).

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The intervention was performed in line with ONR’s guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides) in the areas inspected.

ONR conducted a planned enhanced inspection of the Licence Condition (LC) 36 Organisational Capability with the AWE Internal Regulator. Due to industrial action the full scope of the inspection was not completed. The remaining scope is scheduled to be completed in March for which a separate intervention record will be raised.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A.

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

The inspection scope has not been completed and thus there are no formal findings at this stage. It is the inspectors’ opinion that the LC36 arrangements have been improved, but still include some gaps against ONR and national guidance. It is also our opinion that the change in arrangements is not being adequately controlled, but at this stage we have not concluded what the root cause of this shortfall is. In particular we noted that there were no clear governance arrangements for the introduction of the new baseline and that there was uncertainty amongst staff as to which baseline was currently valid.

The inspection found that the implementation of the existing arrangements at Assembly and within Engineering were of a higher standard to elsewhere. These areas appear to have been proactive in developing local arrangements to address shortfalls in the previous corporate LC36 arrangements.

The inspection concluded that the organisational changes sampled to date did not provide an adequate description of the changes, an adequate assessment of the risks arising from the changes and did not describe adequate arrangements for controlling or monitoring the changes. In addition we identified other potentially significant changes which had not been assessed through the LC36 system, including contractorisation of nuclear maintenance in a facility under decommissioning and the introduction of a new Job Architecture.

Conclusion of Intervention

The conclusion of the inspection will not be confirmed until the full scope of the inspection has been completed, however a number of areas for improvement have been identified and these will be considered in together with any new findings in a separate intervention record.