Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Site inspection to ensure compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This was a planned inspection of Building D2.1 at AWE Aldermaston, undertaken as part of the planned intervention strategy for the Operating Facilities Division (OFD) of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

The work was carried out was in-line with the strategy defined by the ONR Weapons sub-Division.

The purpose of this intervention was to ensure that the Licensee was showing compliance with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The intervention focused on both the management of fire safety and the practical fire safety provision within the facility identified above.

I used the relevant legislation relating to this inspection to focus on life fire safety not nuclear fire safety issues. During my inspection, I challenged those accompanying me, and others about procedures and approaches to the practical application of maintaining adequate fire safety provision.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not Applicable

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

My overall impression was one of a management team which demonstrated an ability to ensure that fire safety is taken seriously and is given the due consideration it deserves. I am of the opinion that the Facility Manager has identified and prioritised fire at an appropriate risk level within the facility. Throughout the inspection I was pleased to note that all of those that I had contact with demonstrated an enthusiastic focus, support and attention to fire safety. It was clear that the Facility Manager has a well-developed relationship with the AWE Fire Authority.

During the walk down and the meetings held during the day I identified a number of examples of good practice. I did however identify a number of minor issues requiring attention to ensure compliance with the relevant legislation is achieved. Some are specifically related to the facility and a number are site wide issues that will be discussed at the next Level 4 Fire Liaison meeting.

It is my opinion that my inspection has provided me with the confidence that the fire safety arrangements are effective and being implemented to a satisfactory standard. The inspection demonstrated  a good direction of travel and a high level of importance being placed on the provision of the required standards for conventional fire safety arrangements.  I have provided recommendations in relation to a small number of minor issues (described in the main report) designed to build on the existing standard of fire safety that is being applied.

D2.1 Management Team displayed a positive appreciation of the importance of effective fire safety measures within the facility demonstrating a confident approach to achieving compliance with the relevant legislation.

I concluded with an assessment of compliance with the legislation, presented deficiencies and recognised areas of good practice at a wash-up meeting with the Facility Management Team.

Conclusion of Intervention

Overall my findings in relation to the areas I inspected, demonstrate a good level of fire safety provision and management. The facility management understand that in order for the fire safety systems that are in place in these facilities to be fully affective, it is necessary that all members of staff are aware of the fire strategy and fire risk assessment that applies to them. I have rated the outcome of this inspection as GREEN.