Office for Nuclear Regulation

Planned Licence Condition 22 inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This intervention, conducted at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston licensed site, was undertaken as part of the 2018/19 intervention plan and weapons sub-division strategy.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

During the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s (ONR) June 2018 site inspection week I attended routine briefing meetings with key licensee (i.e. AWE plc) personnel, to discuss the licensee’s progress with important safety related projects within the two inspection portfolios for which I am the ONR site inspector.

Additionally, supported by the ONR portfolio inspector for AWE Burghfield, I conducted a planned Licence Condition (LC) 22 (“Modification or Experiment on Existing Plant”) compliance inspection of the implementation of the licensee’s arrangements (made under LC 22).  This inspection was conducted in the UTC Technology Centre.

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

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


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

During my routine meetings with the licensee, I identified no matters requiring immediate regulatory attention.

In the case of the LC 22 inspection, we inspected the licensee’s arrangements and judged that these arrangements adequately met ONR’s expectations.

We also sampled the licensee’s implementation of its LC 22 arrangements in the context of its operations within the UTC Technology Centre.  From the evidence provided by the licensee we were content that the UTC Asset Change Board (ACB) has a strong chair and configuration management personnel and that the letters of appointment sampled were in order.  We sampled a number of Asset Change Requests (ACR) chosen at random and identified a number of minor concerns, with respect to the accuracy of the paperwork relating to these modifications.  In all cases the licensee volunteered prompt actions to address our concerns.  We were also content that the licensee is tracking the life cycle of its ACRs and that due focus is applied to ACRs that exceed their anticipated closure dates.  We were satisfied with the licensee’s processes for closure of ACRs.

From the totality of the evidence examined, we were content that the overall inspection merited a rating of ‘Green’ i.e. ‘Adequate.  However, we provided the licensee with the regulatory advice that periodic independent challenge of the functionality of the UTC ACB would be of value and that the licensee needed to understand how many of its open ACRs were legacy ACRs.  The licensee accepted the advice provided.

Conclusion of Intervention

From the routine meetings held with the licensee no matters were identified as requiring immediate regulatory attention.

Based on the totality of the evidence sampled during our LC 22 inspection, we judged that overall the inspection merited a rating of ‘Green’.  Two pieces of regulatory advice were provided to the licensee, which were accepted.