Office for Nuclear Regulation

Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston – Inspection ID: 52076

Executive summary

Date(s) of inspection:

  • March 2023

Aim of inspection

The aim of this intervention was to gain assurance that AWE are compliant with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17) in relation to the use of Respiratory Protective equipment (RPE), and that AWE are compliant with the HSG 53 “Respiratory protective equipment at work A practical guide” (fourth edition, published 2013, to support the use of enhanced workplace protection factors for full face negative pressure respirators and progress towards to having arrangements in line with the requirements of the Site Directors Forum Guide – The UK Nuclear Industry Guide To: Respiratory Protective Equipment.

Subject(s) of inspection

  • LC18 – Radiological protection – Rating: GREEN

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

This inspection was conducted by ONR Radiation Protection Specialist Inspectors against the requirements of the IRR17 Regulations 8, 9, 10, 11 and 15. The themed intervention conducted at AWE is part of a nuclear industry wide intervention into the implementation of the UK Nuclear Industry Guide to: Respiratory Protective Equipment, HSG 53 as applied with IRR17. ONR satisfied itself of the level of implementation of the arrangements and compliance with those arrangements by the duty holder.


In summary we are content that AWE could implement the enhanced Protection Factor (PF) up to 1000 once a number of actions are completed. AWE stated that at present they do not have any intention of applying the enhanced PF of up to 1000 although if this position changes it will be discussed with ONR, until this time AWE will continue to use a PF of 40.

AWE demonstrated compliance with IRR17 Regulations 8, 9, 10, 11 and 15 with respect to RPE and no further action is required so a RAG rating of Green is assigned to this inspection.