Office for Nuclear Regulation

AWE - IRR17 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

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

An inspection was undertaken of the AWE arrangements for compliance with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17).  We met with the licensee’s responsible personnel and visited two source stores to inform our view.

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 the licensee’s personnel and sampled records and documentation applicable to IRR17.  This consisted of site procedures and instructions, including those for control of radioactive sources.  We visited two source stores and were content with the controls we sampled.  We considered AWE had made appropriate progress with updating arrangements due to the introduction of IRR17.  Update of Local Rules when they become due for renewal seems proportionate given the minor impact the new Regulations will have.  The requirement to take revised site procedures via the NSC appeared onerous and disproportionate and we expressed this view to AWE.  The source control arrangements we sampled appeared appropriate we were content with what we observed.  We noted AWEs concerns over the limited number of competent internal dosimetry assessors available nationally, and that this was being reviewed by the industry via the IRPCG.

At the conclusion of the inspection we judged that compliance with IRR17 should be rated as green.

Conclusion of Intervention

Based on the areas we sampled and inspected at Aldermaston, we concluded that AWE is compliant with IRR17.