Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE Aldermaston Systems Based Inspection on Liquid Effluent System

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

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

The inspections undertaken at the Aldermaston Licensed Site form part of a series of planned interventions in accordance with the IIS and site inspection plan. The purpose of the intervention was to undertake a system based inspection of the liquid effluent system, as planned in the weapons inspection plan.

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.

A systems based inspection was undertaken of the liquid effluent plant. This was a joint inspection with the Environment Agency. Systems based inspections cover Licence Conditions (LC) 10 (training), 23 (operating rules), 24 (operating instructions), 27 (safety mechanisms, devices and circuits), 28 (examination, inspection, maintenance and testing) and 34 (leakage and escape of radioactive material and radioactive waste).

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

The system was judged to be adequate.

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

I met with the licensee's personnel and sampled their documentation applicable to the licence conditions being inspected. This included instructions for operation and maintenance and records of training and maintenance. This is a modern facility and had a good level of housekeeping.

The facility has a liquid effluent safety case and from this I was able to identify equipment claimed to maintain the plant in a safe state. I saw records showing examination and testing had been completed. I visited the operational areas and saw a sample of bunds and level probes that are used to measure the presence of effluent both within primary containment and in areas where leakage would be detected. The level probes installed in secondary containment alert operators to the presence of liquor.

I was satisfied that from the areas I sampled there were appropriate measures in place to demonstrate compliance with the licence conditions covered. I am content that the systems met the requirements of the liquid effluent safety case.

Conclusion of Intervention

It is my opinion, based upon the evidence I sampled, that a rating of green was appropriate for the licence conditions included within this systems based inspection.