Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE Aldermaston, LC 17 Project Management Arrangements inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This intervention, conducted at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston licensed site, was undertaken as part of the ONR AWE 2019/20 intervention plan and weapons sub-division strategy.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

During the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s (ONR) November 2019 site inspection week, I conducted a planned Licence Condition (LC) 17 (“Management Arrangements”) compliance inspection of the licensee’s arrangements for the project management function, including their adequate implementation.

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

On 12th November 2019, I, the site inspector for the Uranium Technology Centre (UTC), accompanied by two ONR project inspectors and an inspector from ONR Regulatory oversight undertook a planned LC17 Licence Condition inspection of AWE’s Project Management System arrangements for two specific projects. The projects were the Material Handling Store (MHS) and the ‘A’ site Periodic Review of Safety (PRS) and Safety Case. A representative for the AWE internal regulator also participated in the inspection.

The MHS aspects of the inspection were primarily focussed on changes to AWE management systems and how those changes are introduced and embedded throughout the project management function. Key areas to inspect within projects were identified as the revision of the project management arrangements in line with the Association of Project Managers (APM) Body of Knowledge (BoK) and the AWE organisational change which brought together Programme Management Office and Project Delivery functions.

For the ‘A’ site PRS/Safety Case submission the context of this inspection was primarily to sample the adequacy of AWE’s management arrangements to produce a PRS.  The inspection focused mainly around the ‘A’ site Safety Case Project Execution Plan and the ‘A’ site PRS Specification and references associated with these two documents.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

This was not a systems inspection.

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

The key findings from the inspection were:

Conclusion of Intervention

Overall, from the evidence sampled during this inspection, I judge that there was sufficient evidence that the licensee’s formal arrangements for compliance with LC17 are being implemented adequately for the areas sampled for the MHS project management function, but are inadequate for the ‘A’ site PRS submission. Because of the significant (approximately one year) delay in the ‘A’ site submission, the inspection is rated overall as inadequate (Amber). Future regulatory engagement is required to review the key findings above. These follow up Level 4 interventions will be conducted as part of normal regulatory business during future site visits.

A Regulatory Issue for AWE to demonstrate the implementation of the findings of their RLI workshop into their existing management arrangements will be raised as a result of this inspection.