Office for Nuclear Regulation

AWE Burghfield - LC24 Compliance inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all regulatory interaction with the Burghfield site licensee (AWE Limited) against a strategy defined by the ONR Weapons sub-Division. In accordance with that strategy, a Licence Condition (LC) 24 Compliance Inspection was carried out on the Assembly Technology Centre (ATC), as planned, in September 2018. 

The purpose of this inspection was for the ONR to determine the adequacy of the duty holders implementation of LC24 – Operating Instructions. 

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.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


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

From the evidence examined during this inspection, I consider that AWE has adequate measures in place that satisfy the requirements of LC24 – Operating Instructions.

During this inspection, the written evidence of Operational Instructions was reviewed, and the line of sight back to the Operating Rules, was generally found adequate.  I sampled a range of Operating Instructions for key activities and considered that, these were to be of the standard expected.

It was noted that AWE has a complex suite of documentation in which their Operating Instructions are held - some of these are held within MoD owned documentation. AWE had some difficulty in articulating clearly how the LC24 arrangement documentation hangs together.   It was advised that AWE may find it beneficial to have a single management tool/document that lists all of the Operating Instructions and their review dates.  It was noted, in practice, that the OI's are adequate in their content, within date and the Operators had a clear understanding of what they were working to.  This was supported by a plant walk down and observation of the Control Desk Operators within the ATC. 

AWE had a good understanding of the limits and conditions of working in relation to extreme weather.  Logs are kept, and checks are carried out prior to operations and continuing on a regular basis.

Based on the sampled evidence, I consider that a rating of Green (no formal action) is merited for Licence Condition 24. 

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence sampled during this inspection, I judge that AWE has adequately implemented the necessary management tools and operational requirements to support Licence Condition 24.