Office for Nuclear Regulation

Implementation of the modified safety case for the Vanguard Deep Maintenance Period (VDMP) activities

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to judge the adequacy of Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd.’s (DRDL) implementation of the modified safety case for the Vanguard Deep Maintenance Period (VDMP) activities, in support of ONR’s permissioning decision.  The inspection was carried out jointly with the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR).

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

As part of the planning for the inspection ONR indicated to the Licensee the intent to target the following areas:

The inspection was planned such that the Licensee presented its progress and readiness in each of the above areas, followed by ONR inspectors checking implementation by a combination of physical inspection, documentation review, and interview.

ONR’s Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable

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

At the start of the inspection DRDL presented ONR with the findings of its operational readiness review carried out by an internal team who are independent of both the VDMP project team and 9-Dock local management team.  DRDL’s review concluded that adequate progress is being made and that further work is required to be undertaken to be ready for the docking.  The Licensee intends to undertake a further review later in December 2015.

The Licensee’s arrangements for Operating Limits & Conditions, and Identified Operating Instructions is logical and is intended to provide a clear link from the Operating Rules to the work instructions, which will be used by the workforce to undertake their day-to-day activities.  The Licensee intends to complete the production, review and approval of its operational documentation prior to the docking.

The Licensee demonstrated control of its engineering improvements and supporting maintenance needs.  Again, the arrangements were logical and systematic and the Licensee now needs to carry through some outstanding work to completion.

The Licensee articulated its plans to ensure that people capability is assured prior to docking.  Although ONR judged that a number of improvements are required, we took confidence from the Licensee acknowledging the shortfalls and having plans in place to address them.  A high-level training needs analysis has been conducted and training courses are being developed and delivered prior to the docking.

Conclusion of Intervention

ONR inspectors concurred with the findings of DRDL’s operational readiness review which concluded that the VDMP project team and 9-Dock management have further work to do to be ready for the docking.  DRDL has clearly articulated its intent and approach to implement the safety case prior to the docking and ONR will be looking to DRDL’s operational readiness review planned for December to provide ONR with assurance that the Licensee has achieved an appropriate level of readiness to support ONR’s permissioning decision.