Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE Aldermaston fire inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of the planned inspection was to ensure that the Licensee was showing compliance with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The inspection focused on both the management of fire safety and the practical fire safety provision within ***. The legislation focuses on life fire safety not nuclear fire safety issues. The Facility Manager was notified of the themes and areas to be inspected and was requested to provide pre-audit material to assist in the process; the material was provided in a timely fashion.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The facility gave access throughout the day to senior managers and subject area experts. Accompanying me throughout the inspection was the Facility Manager (FM) and the Fire Safety Advisor (FSA). These individuals were able to provide answers to questions and provide evidence of the facilities' fire safety arrangements.

During my inspection, I challenged those accompanying me and others about procedures and approaches to the practical application of maintaining adequate fire safety provision. I questioned personnel to test the effectiveness and knowledge of arrangements. I examined several documents prior to my arrival on site. A considerable part of the day included a walk through all areas of the facility mentioned in 1.1 above. Particular attention was paid to the practical application of the fire safety strategy. This element of the inspection involved a detailed look at the physical application of both active and passive fire safety provisions.

I took the opportunity throughout the walk down phase of my inspection to point out examples of obstacles and fire safety issues that are likely to compromise the application of the fire safety strategy that is in place.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not Applicable

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

Key Findings

My overall impression was one of a management team which demonstrated a consistently good ability to ensure that fire safety is taken seriously and is given the due consideration it deserves. I was pleased to note that the facility management have identified the application of fire safety as a key element of the overall safety regime for those persons that work within this facility. The facility adequately demonstrated that a suitable focus and attention is given to fire safety.

I did identify a number of minor shortfalls with the application of the expected fire safety standards. Most of the shortfalls relate to site wide application rather than specific to this facility, and will be discussed with the AWE Fire Authority separately.

Inspectors Opinions

I am of the opinion that the *** Management Team displayed an appreciation of the importance of effective fire safety measures within the facility and that overall they show a desire to ensure that compliance with the relevant legislation is achieved.

Reasons for judgements made

The inspection involved a combination of looking into the management of fire safety and physically walking through ***. I questioned and challenged observations with the *** management team that accompanied me.

My overarching impression was one of a good level of importance being placed on the provision of the required level of fire safety arrangements.

Conclusion of Intervention

I concluded with an assessment of compliance with the legislation, and presented deficiencies and recognised areas of good practice at a wash-up meeting with the facility management.

Overall my findings in relation to ***, which is an office and administrative building, demonstrate a good level of fire safety provision and management. A number of generic shortfalls be discussed and addressed with the AWE Fire Authority as part of the post inspection follow up process.