Office for Nuclear Regulation

Devonport Royal Dockyard – Inspection ID: 52026

Executive summary

Date(s) of inspection:

  • October 2023

Aim of inspection

The purpose of the intervention was for the ONR to inspect and determine the adequacy of implementation of DRDL formal arrangements for compliance with LC11 via an on-site demonstration of their emergency arrangements during a Level 1 exercise.

Subject(s) of inspection

  • LC11 – Emergency arrangements – Rating: Green

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

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all regulatory interventions with the Devonport nuclear site licensee, DRDL against a strategy defined by the ONR Propulsion sub-Division. In accordance with that strategy, a Licence Condition (LC) 11 compliance inspection was undertaken at Devonport, as planned, on 25 October.
The purpose of the intervention was for the ONR to inspect and determine the adequacy of implementation of DRDL formal arrangements for compliance with LC11 via an on-site demonstration of its emergency arrangements during a Level 1 exercise.

Based on the evidence sampled at the time of the intervention against DRDL’s LC 11 arrangements and ONR’s guidance, I consider that DRDL did adequately demonstrate its arrangements across the areas sampled. I was satisfied that the exercise scenario was realistic and sufficiently challenging.

It is my opinion that the Level 1 emergency response demonstration exercise did provide adequate evidence of implementation of the established emergency arrangements on the Devonport site, in respect of LC11.  An Green rating is therefore considered appropriate, in accordance with ONR Guide ONR-INSP-GD-064.

Conclusion

This was an adequate demonstration of the Devonport emergency plan. ONR commended the level of challenge with an unfamiliar scenario and the scale of evacuation undertaken.

The Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR) also assessed the exercise demonstration and provided aligned evidence/observations, consistent with the approach of joined up regulation as did the DRDL and MoD Independent Nuclear Oversight team.

The prioritised observations were fed back to DRDL as part of the “hot wash-up” meeting along with the judgement. We note that the Devonport Emergency Planning team highlighted similar feedback to the observations made and rated themselves appropriately.

The detailed comments of the inspection team have been sent to DRDL Head of EP&R.