Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE - SBI04 Planned 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 undertaken covering containment, ventilation and breathing air within decommissioning on the AWE Aldermaston site.  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).  We met with the licensee’s personnel and visited a decommissioning facility, over two half-day sessions, to inform our view.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

The systems were judged to be adequate.

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

We met with the licensee’s personnel and sampled operational and maintenance records/documentation applicable to the systems being inspected.  This included the facility Infrastructure Safety Case, the Safe Operating Envelope, Training Records and Maintenance Instructions and records.

We noted AWE continue to use the old infrastructure safety case but we considered that the appropriate Safety Mechanisms Devices and Circuits had been identified and were subject to maintenance by suitable qualified and experienced personnel.  Operational parameters and the Safe Operating Envelope were recorded, and appropriate arrangements were in place to identify any leakage or escape of radioactive material from within containment.

Breathing air was not in use but in the areas we sampled, the responses we received to our questions indicated to us that appropriate controls were in place.

Conclusion of Intervention

At the conclusion of the inspection we judged that all licence conditions covered by the SBI should be rated as green.