Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE - Systems based inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This intervention, conducted at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston licensed site, was undertaken as part of the 2018/19 intervention plan and weapons sub-division strategy.

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 made covering criticality controls and Real Time Radiography (RTR) exclusion within the waste area.  Systems based inspections cover implementation of licensees arrangements made to comply with 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).  We met with the licensee’s personnel and visited waste facilities to inform our view.

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

We met with the licensee’s personnel and sampled their documentation applicable to the licence conditions being inspected.  This included instructions for operation and maintenance as well as training and maintenance records.  We visited the operational areas and saw the RTR equipment and the storage of waste drums in compliance with AWE’s Criticality Clearance Certificates.  We were content with the arrangements to identify any leakage and the steps AWE would take to restore containment.

We were satisfied that in the areas we sampled there were appropriate measures in place to demonstrate compliance with the licence conditions covered.

Conclusion of Intervention

It is our opinion, based upon the evidence sampled, that a rating of green was appropriate for the implementation of arrangements made to comply with the licence conditions included within this systems based inspection.