Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Quarterly site report for HM Naval Base Clyde

October to December 2011


This report is issued as part of the Office for Nuclear Regulations (ONR) commitment to make information about inspection and regulatory activities relating to HM Naval Base Clyde available to the public. Reports are distributed quarterly to members of the Clyde Local Liaison Committee and are also available on the ONR website.

Site inspectors from ONR usually attend the Clyde Local Liaison Committee and will respond to any questions raised there by the members of the group. Any other person wishing to inquire about matters covered by this report should contact the ONR.

Post: Office for Nuclear Regulation
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
L20 7HS

HM Naval Base Clyde Inspections

The majority of sites inspected by ONR are licensed by HSE under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 (as amended).  HM Naval Base Clyde is not a licensed site although it operates under Authorisation from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR). The site comprises the Faslane and Coulport facilities and is regulated by ONR through other legislation as noted below. This report summarises the inspection and regulatory activities associated with HM Naval Base Clyde which are co-ordinated with inspections by DNSR.
ONR Site Inspectors made inspection visits to the Faslane and Coulport sites on the following dates during the quarter: -

The Deputy Chief Inspector for the Defence Programme and the Superintending Inspector for Naval Nuclear Propulsion Programme (NNPP) Inspection also visited the site on the following dates during the quarter:

Routine matters

Inspections on site are undertaken are taken as part of monitoring compliance with:

  1. The Health and Safety at Work etc Act (HSWA) 1974 and
  2. Regulations made under the HSWA for example the Ionising Radiations Regulations1999 (IRR99), the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001 (REPPIR) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW99)

Emergency preparedness

The ONR Site Inspector, along with colleagues from DNSR, attended a re-demonstration of the command and control aspects from Emergency Exercise Bowline 11. The exercise was a marked improvement and the agreed objectives and associated success criteria of the Command and Control aspects were met.
As with all emergency exercises, some learning opportunities were identified which were communicated to the Naval Base. The learning opportunities related to improvements in the recording of data on the state, information and action boards and were based upon experience gained from other nuclear emergency exercises.
The ONR Site Inspector also attended the first planning meeting for Exercise Short Sermon 2012 due to take place on the 5th September 2012. Exercise Short Sermon is a triennial Grade A/Level 3 demonstration exercise of both the on-site and the off-site emergency preparedness to a nuclear emergency at HMNB Clyde. This exercise involves multi-agency off-site response at both strategic and tactical levels.

Level 1 Regulatory Interface Forum

The Deputy Chief Inspector for the ONR Defence Programme, the Superintending Inspector for NNPP Inspection and the Site Inspector attended the Annual Level 1 Regulatory Interface Forum (RIF). This is an annual meeting of senior base personnel and nuclear regulators (ONR, DNSR and SEPA). The purpose of the meeting is for HMNB Clyde to give an update on specific issues relating to regulatory matters, in particular the progress of the key activities being undertaken at Faslane and Coulport. Updates were given on key safety improvements being undertaken as well as the work undertaken following the Fukushima Event.

Non-routine matters

Operators are required to have arrangements to respond to non-routine matters and events. ONR Inspectors judge the adequacy of the operators response including actions taken to implement any necessary improvements.

There were no items of particular note during the current reporting period.

Regulatory activity

Under Health and Safety legislation ONR Site Inspectors, and other HSE Inspectors, may issue enforcement (Crown) notices to secure improvements to safety.

No enforcement (Crown) notices were issued during the quarter.

News from ONR

Final Fukushima report

The final report, 11 October, revealed no fundamental safety weaknesses in the UK's nuclear industry but concluded that by learning lessons it can be made even safer. The report, the Governments response and a podcast featuring Mike Weightman is available on the ONR website. A report will be published next year on progress in implementing the lessons for the UK.

Radioactive Materials Transport Team (RMTT) join ONR

The team joined ONR from the Department of Transport on 24 October. The team is responsible for regulating the transport of radioactive material by road and rail in Great Britain, as well as advising on transport by sea and air within the United Kingdom.  Their remit covers the transport of material to and from licensed nuclear sites and non-nuclear sectors such as hospitals and education establishments.  

Non Governmental Organisations Forum

ONR's second NGO forum was held in London (17 November). Topics covered included openness and transparency, generic design assessment and the final Fukushima report. The forum was well attended with constructive discussion sessions. Minutes will be published on ONR's website and a third forum will be held in April 2012.

International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission

A team of international nuclear security experts led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited the UK in October to assess civil nuclear security arrangements. They concluded the state of civil nuclear security in the UK to be sufficiently robust and identified many examples of good practice within the civil nuclear security regime and a number of valuable recommendations and suggestions.

Senior Representatives Conference

The annual event bought together nuclear industry leaders on 14 November. Discussions focused on: openness and transparency in the post-Fukushima era; promoting a safety culture across all parts of the nuclear industry supply chain; and responding to challenges post-Fukushima.

ONR public consultation update

The 12 week public consultation to clarify ONR's interpretation of bulk quantities relating to radioactive matter closed on 12 December. ONR is now analysing responses to the consultation and will make a policy announcement once a suitable definition is agreed.

Stress tests

ONR received the progress reports from licensees for UK non nuclear power plants by the required date of 15 October. Final reports are due by 31 December with a report due for publication in Spring 2012.

ONR received the final stress tests reports from licensees of UK nuclear power plants by the required date of 31 October. ONR will independently review these reports and provide a UK national report for the European Council by the end of December.

Generic Design Assessment

On 14 December generic designs for EDF and Areva's UK EPR and Westinghouse's AP1000 reactors were granted interim acceptance by ONR and the Environment Agency. However, neither reactor can be built in the UK until a number of issues are resolved.

ONR published its second quarterly report on 8 November.