Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE Aldermaston - LC32 Inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This intervention at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston licensed site was undertaken as part of the 2017/18 intervention plan and weapons sub-division strategy.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I attended routine briefing meetings with key licensee (i.e. AWE plc) personnel, to discuss the licensee's progress with safety related projects within the two AWE inspection portfolios for which I am the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) Site Inspector.

Additionally, accompanied by an ONR specialist nuclear liabilities inspector, I conducted an LC 32 ('Accumulation of radioactive waste') compliance inspection of the implementation of the licensee's arrangements (made under LC 32) in the context of its operations within the Main Production Facility at AWE Aldermaston.

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

During my routine meetings with the licensee, no matters requiring immediate regulatory attention were identified.

In the case of the LC 32 inspection, we inspected the licensee's arrangements and judged these arrangements to adequately meet ONR's expectations.

During the LC 32 inspection in the Main Production Facility, we toured the key facility waste stations and examined documentation relating to a number of waste items observed during our plant walk-down. From both our facility walk-down and from the documentation we sampled and personnel we spoke to, we judged that the licensee is adequately controlling its radioactive waste in the facility. The licensee provided evidence that substantial progress has been made in reducing the volume of legacy waste holdings and that significant increases have been made in diverting wastes to lower category waste routes. Several examples of relevant good practice were observed during the inspection.

We provided the licensee with some advice for consideration but this did not detract from our opinion that the licensee is adequately applying its LC 32 arrangements in the context of its operations in its Main Production Facility.

Conclusion of Intervention

No matters were identified as requiring regulatory attention during either the routine meetings with licensee personnel or during the conduct of the LC 32 compliance inspection. The LC compliance inspection demonstrated that the licensee has adequate arrangements in place under LC 32 and the licensee was able to provide satisfactory evidence that it is working to these arrangements in the context of its operations within the Main AWE Aldermaston Production Facility.