Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE Aldermaston - Fire Safety Inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to undertake a compliance inspection at the AWE GEMINI building complex in line with the ONR's planned inspection programme contained in the AWE integrated intervention strategy.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I carried out an intervention to evaluate compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The intervention, which focused on the management of fire safety and provision of physical fire safety provisions, comprised of meetings with senior managers and staff and examination of documentation. Various areas of the two buildings were inspected, including plant and switch rooms.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not Applicable

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

During my inspection I held a meeting during the morning session to discuss the approach being taken by management regarding a number of fire safety systems. This was followed by a walkthrough of a number of different areas including the general areas, escape staircases, plant rooms, offices and switch room/duct areas; I paid particular attention to the practical application of the fire safety strategy which involves an element of Fire Engineering. This relates predominantly to the Atrium design.

I was provided with a clear indication from all of those persons I met that a positive culture of openness exists, and a willingness to learn and improve was also evident within the safety environment.

My overall impression was one of a management team which although relatively new in position demonstrated an ability to ensure that fire safety is taken seriously and is given the due consideration it deserves, the Asset Operations Manager clearly understood the importance of engaging competent people to ensure that Fire Safety was considered, applied and delivered in the most effective manner.

During both the walk down and the meetings held, I identified a number of examples of industry good practice including good forward planning for system obsolescence and effective succession training of personnel (deputies in place). My inspection has provided me with the confidence that the fire safety arrangements are effective and being implemented to a good standard.

Overall, I judged that standard of compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 was satisfactory and met legal requirements, I concluded the following inspection rating was appropriate: GREEN

Conclusion of Intervention

I did not identify any deficiencies that seriously impact on Fire Safety at AWE GEMINI. Overall, I judged that standard of compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 was satisfactory and met legal requirements No additional regulatory action is needed as a result of the findings of this intervention.