Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE Burghfield Licenced Site - Licence Condition 11 Compliance Inspection

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 response demonstration exercise within the Assembly Facility on the Burghfield Nuclear Licensed Site.

ONR also conducted interventions on an Assembly Facility Level 1 emergency exercise presentation, overview and familiarisation tour, follow up to a recent INF1 that had been raised by the Assembly Facility, discussion on the Assembly Facility periodic review of safety PRS submission and a regular meeting with the AWE communications team.

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.

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 observed in respect of the established emergency arrangements, ONR concluded that the demonstration was to an adequate standard. The detailed comments from the ONR inspection team for this demonstration will be summarised in a separate 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 formal regulatory action.

For the follow up to the INF1, 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 also satisfied that the work that AWE is currently undertaking in order to fully understand the event is appropriate.

Conclusion of Intervention

It is ONR's opinion that the Level 1 emergency response demonstration exercise provided adequate evidence of implementation of the established emergency arrangements within the Assembly Facility, in respect of Licence Condition 11. A Green rating is therefore considered appropriate.

It is my opinion that AWE has followed a conservative and appropriate path following the reporting of an event via an INF1, is continuing to investigate the event adequately 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.