Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Fire Safety inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

I conducted an inspection of fire safety at Harwell. My inspection focused on the themes of fire safety management and practical fire safety provision. A number of issues from previous fire safety inspections were reviewed to confirm that adequate consideration had been given to them by the Licensee. I completed a walk-down of selected facilities involved with on-going project work before concluding with a final meeting with members of the management team.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The site gave access throughout the day to relevant personnel and subject area experts. The personnel I engaged with were focused on providing a good level of fire safety within their areas of control. Accompanying me throughout the inspection was the Fire Safety Coordinator (FSC).

As part of this intervention,

During my inspection, I challenged those accompanying me, and others about procedures and approaches to the practical application of maintaining adequate fire safety provision. I questioned personnel to test effectiveness and knowledge of arrangements. I examined a series of documents prior to my arrival on site.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A

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

My overall impression was one of a site which demonstrated a desire to ensure that fire safety is taken seriously and is given the due consideration it deserves.  During both the walk down and the meetings held during the day I did identify a number of areas for further consideration which will be followed up as part of the post inspection activity. I provided a number of recommendations for the licensee to consider based on good practice across the industry.

I am of the opinion that the site displayed a positive appreciation of the importance of effective fire safety measures within the facilities that I inspected and that they demonstrate a positive approach to achieving compliance with the relevant legislation. The site continues to work towards the implementation of the recently revised Magnox Ltd fire safety policy.

The inspection involved a combination of looking into the management of fire safety, reviewing the content of the building Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) and physically walking through selected areas and speaking with staff. I questioned and challenged observations with the staff accompanying me.

The overarching impression was one of a satisfactory level of importance being placed on the provision of the required standards for conventional fire safety arrangements with a number of improvements to be implemented. A number of aspects of the fire safety strategy for the HIBS require further consideration.

Conclusion of Intervention

I concluded with an assessment of compliance with the legislation, and presented deficiencies and recognised areas of good practice at a wash-up meeting with the Site Management team. Overall, I judged that standard of compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to be adequate.