Office for Nuclear Regulation

Permissioning inspection of Hypalon gloves storage arrangements

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

AWE has recently submitted an interim safety case to justify a short extension to the operating life of the Hypalon gloves, which form part of the primary containment boundary in several facilities across AWE. This brief inspection under LC22 was carried out to inform ONR’s assessment of this interim life extension safety case. The key aims of the inspection were for ONR to gain regulatory confidence that:

The Hypalon gloves storage arrangements are sufficiently robust to ensure that there will be no degradation of the gloves materials properties arising from adverse storage conditions, and that the gloves storage arrangements conform to AWE’s arrangements, including ‘ISO 2230 Rubber products - Guidelines for storage’ where appropriate.

The Hypalon gloves management / database arrangements are sufficiently robust to ensure that all of the gloves do not exceed the maximum lifetime limits for either their storage in the gloves storage area or their installed lifetime on the facility.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

This inspection was performed on Aldermaston ‘A’ site. A visual inspection of the gloves main storage area was performed, as well as a visual inspection of the intermediate storage area used to transfer gloves from the main storage area to the Main Production Facility. The arrangements used to control the gloves data (date of manufacture, storage time and time on plant) were also discussed in detail.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A

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

It was noted during the inspection that the storage arrangements had been significantly improved such that previous regulatory advice on clear labelling, environmental monitoring, and access control to the store and segregation of gloves had been considered and implemented by AWE. The storage arrangements were seen to be in conformance with the key requirements of ‘ISO 2230 Rubber products - Guidelines for storage’.

Conclusion of Intervention

No significant regulatory concerns were identified during this inspection. The inspection has therefore been rated as ‘Green’ – Adequate.