Office for Nuclear Regulation

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ONR extend terms of AWE Improvement Notice

23 December, 2013

AWE have requested and been granted an extension to the period of the Improvement Notice served by ONR in November 2012.

AWE have requested and been granted an extension to the period of the improvement notice served by ONR in November 2012.

ONR issued AWE with an improvement notice in November 2012 following AWE’s discovery of significant corrosion to structural steelwork on a safety significant building at Aldermaston. The notice placed requirements on AWE to carry out suitable repairs to the structure to bring it back up to the required standard.  The closure date for this notice was the end of December 2013.

There were 4 requirements on the notice:
1    Complete the inspection of the building.

2    Repair the building to an acceptable standard.

3    Carry out a review to identify lessons learnt.

4    Based on lessons learnt; carry out a review of the Plant Maintenance Schedule  for the facility in question.

In its request for the extension AWE also confimed that items 1, 3 and 4 will be complete by end 2013 – the extension of the completion period relates to item 2 – the repairs to the building.

Following completion of the examination of the building and the early stages of rectification work in 2013, AWE has been able to put in place a full plan in place for the necessary repairs, but the timescales required by AWE is longer than either AWE or ONR anticipated at the time of the notice, due to the complex nature of the building and the controls that have to be in place for the conduct of repair work.

The extension will now give AWE until 31 May 2015 to complete the full extent of the repairs required.

It is also important to note that AWE has reduced the potential hazard in the affected area of the building by significantly reducing the inventory of radioactive material