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 life fire safety in AWE’s Main Production Facility 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 carried out was in-line with the planned inspection programme contained in the AWE Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS).

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 provisions within the facility identified above.

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 a willingness to ensure that fire safety is taken seriously and applied accordingly within the main production facility. I am of the opinion that the Facility Manager (FM) 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. I did however identify a number of locations were housekeeping, management of combustibles and control of laydown areas required greater control and management.

The outcome of the meetings and walk down of the main production facility has resulted in three formal issues being raised. Greater detail is provided in the body of the report. In addition I identified a number of minor issues requiring attention to achieve compliance with the relevant legislation.

It is my opinion that my inspection has provided me with the confidence that the FM and other relevant managers understand the challenges that exist within the facility relating to life fire safety. The expectation that these challenges will be addressed in a timely fashion is fully understood. Continued engagement between FM, AWE Fire Safety Team and ONR Fire Safety Inspectors is aimed at satisfactorily closing out the formal issues. The inspection demonstrated the importance of a high degree of focus required to manage fire safety in a facility of this nature and design.

The Main production Facility Management Team displayed a positive appreciation of the findings of the fire safety inspection. Continued engagement by ONR Fire Safety Inspectors is expected to monitor progress against the closure of the issues to achieve and maintain compliance with the relevant legislation.

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 Facility Management Team and others.

The facility management understand that in order for the fire safety strategy for 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. The application of all appropriate fire safety management control measures, along with the confidence that all fire safety systems will operate and afford the required degree of protection, forms a significant aspect of the fire safety strategy.  I have rated the outcome of this inspection as AMBER.