Office for Nuclear Regulation

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LC 11 compliance inspection - Level 1 emergency exercise demonstration and other meetings

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This report covers a planned inspection at Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston Licensed Site and is undertaken in accordance with the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s (ONR’s) Operating Facilities Division Weapons Sub-division Strategy 2018 - 2020 for AWE.

The inspections undertaken at the Aldermaston Licensed Site form part of a series of planned interventions in accordance with the ONR AWE Inspection Plan April ’19 - March ’20.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

An ONR team observed and assessed the annual Aldermaston site Level 1 emergency exercise to demonstrate the arrangements in place and their implementation to deal with an on-site emergency as required under LC11.

The intervention was performed in line with ONR's guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides) in the areas inspected.

ONR also conducted interventions on a facility Level 1 emergency exercise preparedness presentation, overview and familiarisation tour and meetings with the Estate Manager for the Aldermaston site, the Internal Regulation team, the AWE Corporate Communications team, the Programme Management Office and the work control lead for the Structured Improvement Programme (SIP).

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

For the LC 11 compliance inspection, based on the exercise assessed in respect of the established emergency arrangements, ONR concluded that the emergency arrangements were demonstrated to an adequate standard. ONR identified areas of good practice and opportunities for learning during the exercise, however no observations were made that would detract from the overall adequate standard of demonstration.  Detailed comments of the ONR inspection team from this demonstration exercise will be summarised in a letter to the licensee.

 For the facility Level 1 emergency exercise presentation, overview and familiarisation tour, ONR was satisfied that there were no shortfalls, that the exercise was realistic and sufficiently challenging and required no need for any regulatory action.

For the other interventions described in this report no new issues were raised and there is currently no requirement for further regulatory action in addition to that already planned as part of normal business.

Conclusion of Intervention

The ONR team judged that the annual Aldermaston level 1 emergency exercise was an adequate demonstration of AWE’s on site emergency arrangements.  A Green rating is therefore considered appropriate.

There are no other findings from this inspection that could significantly undermine nuclear safety. The planned interventions set out in the Operating Facilities Division Weapons Sub-division Strategy 2018 - 2020 for AWE remain valid and will be followed for future inspections.