Office for Nuclear Regulation

Project Mensa on the AWE Burghfield nuclear licensed site: Compliance inspection of Licence Condition (LC) 6 (Documents, records, authorities and certificates) & LC 21 (Commissioning)

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all regulatory interventions with the Burghfield nuclear site licensee, AWE plc (AWE) against a strategy defined by the ONR Weapons sub-Division. In accordance with that strategy, a Licence Conditions (LC) compliance inspection was undertaken on the ‘Mensa’ facility, as planned, on 8th and 9th December 2020. 

The purpose of the intervention was for the ONR to inspect and determine the adequacy of implementation of AWE’s formal arrangements for compliance with LC 21 (Commissioning) and LC 6 (Documents, records, authorities and certificates). It will also inform ONR’s permissioning decision on AWE’s readiness to safely implement Mensa’s next phase of works (i.e. inactive commissioning).

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The intervention focussed on the people, process and plant that Mensa has in place to comply with its LC 21 and 6 arrangements and was undertaken via desktop discussions and facility inspection. This comprised semi-structured interviews with relevant personnel; sampled review of relevant documents and records; and inspection of plant/equipment. This included both nuclear and conventional health and safety aspects.

The intervention was performed in line with ONR's guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides) in the areas inspected.

Specifically, this included NS-INSP-GD-021, Revision 6, NS-INSP-GD-006, Revision 3 and ONR-INSP-GD-064, Revision 5.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable - this was not a system-based inspection, therefore no judgement in this regard was made.

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

Based on the evidence sampled at the time of the intervention against AWE’s LC 6 and 21 arrangements and ONR’s associated LC requirements and TIGs, ONR considers that AWE adequately demonstrated that:

Conclusion of Intervention

Based on the findings of the intervention, I consider that AWE has implemented adequately its arrangements for compliance with LC 6 and LC 21. I therefore judge that an inspection rating of Green (No Formal Action) is merited, in accordance with ONR Guide ONR-INSP-GD-064, where relevant good practice was met when compared with appropriate benchmarks; legal duties were complied with; and, no safety shortfalls were identified in the delivery of safety functions. The Mensa project team was able to demonstrate best practice in several areas particularly the plan of the day meeting and T&CP.