Office for Nuclear Regulation

Compliance inspection - Management of Electrical safety in high voltage test areas

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes its regulatory interaction with the Aldermaston site licensee (AWE) against a strategy defined by the ONR Weapons sub-Division. In accordance with that strategy, ONR inspectors carried out an inspection on AWE’s conventional health and safety management of electrical hazards in the high voltage test areas of the D** facility.

The main purpose of this inspection was for the ONR to determine the adequacy of AWE’s electrical safety management arrangements for the test areas in the facility.

This inspection formed part of ONR’s ongoing intervention strategy to monitor and influence improvements in AWE’s management of electrical safety.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The scope of the inspection was the management of the people, process and plant aspects of high voltage testing activities that take place within the facility at Aldermaston.

I sampled aspects of AWE’s management of the following elements of its safe system of work that were within the scope of the inspection:

As part of the inspection I gathered sample evidence of the management arrangements from the examination of relevant documentation, visits to inspect high voltage test areas within the facility, and face to face discussions with relevant personnel.

My regulatory judgements were based on my knowledge of a number of sources of relevant good practice published by HSE.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not Applicable.

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

There were no Regulatory Findings (ONR Regulatory Issues) raised in relation to this inspection.

I identified seven Regulatory Observations (ONR Recommendations).  These were provided in outline as part of the feedback at the close-out of the inspection and acknowledged by AWE. They will be confirmed to AWE and followed-up as part of normal regulatory business as part of ONR’s ongoing monitoring the implementation of electrical safety improvements under existing regulatory issue number 7520.

On the basis of evidence gathered from the this inspection, a number of good practices were in place with regard to AWE’s management of conventional health and safety hazards associated with specialist high voltage test equipment utilised in the facility. In general, AWE apply safety management practices that are largely consistent with HSE guidance in the area and the structured approach taken has been effective in identifying and controlling a range of risk control measures.

Conclusion of Intervention

I consider that my inspection findings developed regulatory confidence that AWE’s management attention on electrical safety has increased in this facility and this has influenced a number of improvements to electrical safety management in this area.

I consider that, on the basis of evidence sampled at the time of this inspection, I have assigned an inspection rating of Green (‘No Formal Action’). This aligns with the following Green descriptors in ONR’s inspection rating guidance:  ‘Relevant good practice generally met...’ and ‘Only limited opportunities to fully reduce to ALARP…’.