Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE Compliance inspection of Licence Conditions 22 and 23

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all regulatory interaction with the Burghfield site licensee (AWE Limited) against a strategy defined by the ONR Weapons sub-Division. In accordance with that strategy, Licence Condition (LC) compliance inspections were carried out on the Assembly Technology Centre (ATC), as planned, in May 2018. 

The purpose of this inspection was for the ONR to determine the adequacy of implementation of the licensee’s formal arrangements for compliance with LC 22 (modification or experiment on existing plant) and LC 23 (operating rules).

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.

As part of my preparation for the delivery of this intervention, the following formal ONR guidance documentation was used:

NS-INSP-GD-022, Revision 4, issued in January 2018

NS-INSP-GD-023, Revision 4, issued in March 2016.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

This was not a system based inspection, and therefore no judgement has been made of the adequacy of implementation of any part of the safety case.

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

During my inspection, I sampled evidence associated with the licensee’s compliance with its formal arrangements for modification of plant systems and/or processes that affect safety.  Specifically, I concentrated on the categorisation of significant changes on plant, the performance of those facility staff assessing such changes, and the adequacy of implementation of a number of recent changes.  I judged that, on the evidence sampled, the licensee had implemented adequately their processes for the modification of existing plant.

Additionally, I sampled evidence associated with the identification and implementation of operating rules within the Assembly Technology Centre, and examined a sample of those rules to confirm if they had been adequately adhered to.  Specifically, I examined how the limits and conditions were derived for those areas of the facility that managed the most significant hazard.  I also focused on the linkage between identified limits and conditions for safe operation of the facility, and the related written guidance for operators that supports delivery of those operations.  I judged that, on the evidence sampled, the licensee had implemented adequately their processes for the management of operating rules. 

I consider that, for both licence conditions, the licensee has complied with all legal duties, and that there are only limited opportunities for further ALARP improvements.  Therefore, it is my opinion that, against compliance with Licence Conditions 22 and 23, an inspection rating of Green (No Formal Action) is merited.

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence sampled during these inspections, I judge that there was sufficient evidence that the licensee’s formal arrangements for compliance with Licence Conditions 22 and 23 are being implemented adequately.