Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE - LC35 inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

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

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.

A planned inspection was undertaken covering compliance with Licence Condition (LC) 35 (Decommissioning) on the AWE Aldermaston site. Our view was based on documentation available before and during the inspection, discussion with the licensee, and a plant visit.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

This was not a systems based inspection.

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

We met with licensee’s personnel and sampled their decommissioning planning documents produced under their LC35 arrangements. We also undertook a plant walkdown to observe progress with decommissioning.

AWE’s documentation outlines the current status of facilities and the defined end state for each stage of decommissioning.

Activities required to systematically reduce hazard are identified and incorporated into a schedule, and progress is tracked against it. Although the work schedule has been prioritised, it is unclear on what basis.

Conclusion of Intervention

We gained confidence that implementation of arrangements for decommissioning planning in facilities undergoing decommissioning is undertaken in line with both AWE arrangements and ONR expectations and therefore this inspection was rated as green.

The Internal Regulator intends to seek clarity on how decommissioning activities are prioritised, and will share their findings with ONR during routine engagements.