Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned inspection at AWE Burghfield

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report covers a planned inspection at AWE Burghfield Licensed Site and is undertaken in accordance with ONR’s Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) for the Atomic Weapons Establishment Programme.

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

ONR conducted an assessment of implementation of the Licence Condition (LC) 11, Emergency Arrangements through a Level 1 Emergency Exercise demonstration within the Assembly Facility on the Burghfield Nuclear Licensed Site.

ONR also conducted an intervention on an Assembly Facility Level 1 Emergency Exercise Presentation, Overview and Familiarisation Tour, introductory meetings for the new in-coming site inspector and meetings to follow up a recent Abnormal Event that had been reported at the ATC.

Purpose of Intervention

The intervention was held within the Assembly Technology Centre and was the annual demonstration of the arrangements in place to deal with an on-site nuclear emergency as required under LC11 and described in the Defence Programme Strategy.

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

For the LC 11 compliance inspection, based on the demonstration assessed in respect of the established emergency arrangements ONR concluded that the demonstration was to an adequate standard. The detailed comments of the inspection team for this demonstration will be summarised in a letter to the licensee.

For the Assembly Facility Level 1 Emergency Exercise Presentation, Overview and Familiarisation Tour ONR was satisfied that there were no shortfalls, that the exercise was realistic and sufficiently challenging and required no need for any regulatory action.

For the follow up to the Abnormal Event, I was briefed on the event and the actions taken afterwards and was satisfied that these were appropriate in the interests of nuclear safety. I am allowing AWE to undertake its own event recovery and investigation process before making a judgement on whether any further regulatory action is required.

Conclusion of Intervention

It is ONR’s opinion that of the Level 1 Emergency Exercise Demonstration assessed, the implementation of the established emergency arrangements, within the Assembly Facility, is to an adequate standard, in respect of Licence Condition 11. A Green rating is therefore considered appropriate.

It is my opinion that AWE following its due process for an Abnormal Event recovery and investigation and that no further regulatory action is required at this point.

There are no other findings from this inspection that could significantly undermine nuclear safety. The planned interventions set out in the Integrated Intervention Strategy for Burghfield site remain valid and will be followed for future inspections.