Office for Nuclear Regulation

AWE Aldermaston – Inspection ID: 50446

Date(s) of inspection:

  • November 2022

Aim of inspection

The purpose of this intervention is for the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to review and examine:

  • Evidence used to inform the Conventional Health and Safety (CHS) risk profile of the XTC’s activities.
  • Risk management evidence used to assess the adequacy of the CHS risk prioritisation process.
  • Effectiveness of CHS risk control measures.
  • Effectiveness of systems to control contractors.

Subject(s) of inspection

  • Health & Safety at Work Act – Rating – Green

Key findings, inspector’s opinions and reasons for judgement made

Discussion of the Conventional Health and Safety (CHS) Risk Priorities and the management of these risks
AWE gave ONR a series of presentations on the management of CHS risks subjects at AWE – some gave good examples of how these risks are prioritised at XTC, others were more general for the whole of AWE, but I believe through posing facility-based questions ONR covered what the CHS risk priorities are for XTC. We discussed work equipment safety, management of hazardous substances, management of explosive atmospheres, work at height, lifting, pressure systems safety, asbestos, legionella and aging assets/electrical safety. Broadly, AWE gave a good account of how CHS risks were managed in XTC, but ONR did ask for further information on the following issues:
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulation 1998 (PUWER) – ONR asked for the outstanding actions from a recent PUWER review of the facility and details of recent PUWER Risk Based inspections carried out at XTC.
  • Aging Assets/Electrical Safety – one issue that emerged from these discussions was the ingress of water at B*** and the possible contact with electrical systems. ONR requested that AWE provide any risk assessments and risk profiling for the water ingress in this building.
Site walk-down at XTC
ONR conducted a site walkdown of various buildings and areas within XTC including Construction work near B***, Workshops in B** and B***, the HEFF Building (to examine equipment that had previous PSSR issues) and attempted to see work done by contractors Emcor and Jacobs in B*** and B***. The only significant issues were found at the workshop in B**. ONR enquired about evidence that the machine operators were conducting their pre-use checks and there was an open, unattended key cabinet in the workshop that housed the keys to the flammable stores. ONR asked AWE to provide with the following:

  • An explanation why this key cabinet was left open and provide evidence that other similar cabinets across the facility are kept secured.
  • Any evidence that health and safety monitoring has carried out to ensure that operators are correctly conducting pre-use safety checks for work equipment.


Despite finding some minor shortcomings, based on the evidence sampled during the inspection, ONR was satisfied with how AWE is prioritising and is managing CHS risks within the XTC facility and the inspection is rated Green.