Office for Nuclear Regulation

Fire Safety inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

I conducted an inspection of fire safety at Harwell. My inspection focused on the themes of fire safety management and practical fire safety provision. A number of issues from previous fire safety inspections were reviewed to confirm that adequate consideration had been given to them by the Licensee. I completed a walk-down of selected facilities involved with on-going project work before concluding with a final meeting with members of the management team.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The site gave access throughout the day to relevant personnel and subject area experts. The personnel I engaged with were focused on providing a good level of fire safety within their areas of control. Accompanying me throughout the inspection was the Fire Safety Coordinator (FSC).

As part of this intervention,

During my inspection, I challenged those accompanying me, and others about procedures and approaches to the practical application of maintaining adequate fire safety provision. I questioned personnel to test effectiveness and knowledge of arrangements. I examined a series of documents prior to my arrival on site.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


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

My overall impression was one of a site which demonstrated a desire to ensure that fire safety is taken seriously and is given the due consideration it deserves.  During both the walk down and the meetings held during the day I did identify a number of areas for further consideration which will be followed up as part of the post inspection activity. I provided a number of recommendations for the licensee to consider based on good practice across the industry.

I am of the opinion that the site displayed a positive appreciation of the importance of effective fire safety measures within the facilities that I inspected and that they demonstrate a positive approach to achieving compliance with the relevant legislation. The site continues to work towards the implementation of the recently revised Magnox Ltd fire safety policy.

The inspection involved a combination of looking into the management of fire safety, reviewing the content of the building Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) and physically walking through selected areas and speaking with staff. I questioned and challenged observations with the staff accompanying me.

The overarching impression was one of a satisfactory level of importance being placed on the provision of the required standards for conventional fire safety arrangements with a number of improvements to be implemented. A number of aspects of the fire safety strategy for the HIBS require further consideration.

Conclusion of Intervention

I concluded with an assessment of compliance with the legislation, and presented deficiencies and recognised areas of good practice at a wash-up meeting with the Site Management team. Overall, I judged that standard of compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to be adequate.