Office for Nuclear Regulation

Devonshire Dock Complex (Barrow) – Inspection ID: 52438

Executive summary

Date(s) of inspection:

  • April 2023

Aim of inspection

In compliance with licence condition 11 (emergency arrangements), clause 5, BAE Systems Marine Limited (BAESML) undertakes an emergency arrangements demonstration exercise on an annual basis.  The previous demonstration exercise (INDIGO 22) in October 2022 was judged to be an inadequate demonstration and a full redemonstration was required.  This was a planned intervention to evaluate the adequacy of implementation of BAESML’s LC11 arrangements through observation of the redemonstration exercise, INDIGO 22R.

Subject(s) of inspection

  • LC11 – Emergency arrangements – Rating: Green

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

A team of three ONR inspectors observed BAESML’s emergency demonstration exercise ‘INDIGO 22R’, making observations in the Nuclear Emergency Headquarters (NEHQ) (tactical & operational), Exclusion Zone Reception Centre (EZRC), and technical cell, as well as observations of the deployed teams.

We observed good inter-cell communication, particularly between the tactical command cell and both the accountability cell and the health physics cell.  Combined with the good level of preparedness of the intervention team and the briefing arrangements, a potential ‘threat to life’ situation was identified in approximately five minutes, and recovery of the injured person completed within approximately 25 minutes; this represents a good outcome.  Situational awareness was maintained through regular tactical command briefings, which were supported by the improved information recording on the information boards, with the briefings being relayed to all cells in the Nuclear Emergency Headquarters via the public address system.

The positive attitude and level of effort invested by BAESML staff in their response to the result of the INDIGO 22 demonstration was clearly visible in the redemonstration.


I judge that this was an adequate demonstration of BAESML’s emergency arrangements, and therefore rate the intervention as Green – ‘No Formal Action’.  This rating is in line with the established ONR guidance.

“Relevant good practice generally met, or minor shortfalls identified, when compared with appropriate benchmarks.”

“No significant shortfalls identified in the delivery of safety, safeguards or security functions.”

I will propose the level 3 regulatory issue associated with INDIGO 22 (RI-11096) for closure through ONR’s usual governance process.