This intervention, conducted at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston licensed site, was undertaken as part of the 2019/20 intervention plan and weapons sub-division strategy.
I conducted a planned Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) compliance inspection in the AWE Aldermaston Active Labs and Explosion Facilities.
Compliance with DSEAR is inspected against the Approved Code of Practice and guidance, which can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l138.htm.
The intervention was performed in line with ONR's guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides) in the areas inspected.
Additionally I conducted routine chemical engineering engagements.
There were no significant findings identified during the DSEAR inspection of the Active Labs and Explosion Facilities
The inspection found that there had been improvements in DSEAR implementation across the site. For example, there are no DSEAR zones within gloveboxes containing radioactive material. This is a real improvement. I also witnessed improvement in DSEAR zoning and hence reducing the ATEX rated equipment and the associated maintenance burden. However AWE acknowledged that the DSEAR verification dossier is still a work in progress.
On balance, I consider an inspection rating of Green (no formal action) is merited against DSEAR as a result of this inspection.
With regards to the DSEAR inspection my findings were shared with and accepted by the licensee as part of normal inspection feedback.
In the case of other engagements I conducted with licensee personnel, no matters were identified as requiring additional regulatory attention.