Office for Nuclear Regulation

Dungeness A Site – Inspection ID: 52873

Executive summary

Date(s) of inspection:

  • September 2023

Aim of inspection

The Dungeness A site inspector highlighted concerns about the functioning of the site’s lead team and weak signals indicating a potential drift in safety performance. Specifically, there were several low-level events at the site culminating in a hand injury. In June ONR carried out leadership interviews (CR at 2023/36974) to understand the issues at site and help target the leadership and management for safety intervention planned for 13 and 14 September. The aim of this inspection was to understand the cultural factors driving safety performance.

Subject(s) of inspection

  • Leadership & Management for Safety – Rating: Not Rated

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

The Dungeness A site inspector highlighted concerns about the functioning of the site’s lead team and weak signals indicating a potential drift in safety performance. Specifically, there were several low-level events at the site culminating in a hand injury. In June ONR carried out leadership interviews to understand the issues at site and help target the leadership and management for safety intervention planned for 13 and 14 September. The aim of this inspection was to understand the cultural factors driving safety performance.

We conducted:

  • Interviews with senior leaders;
  • Focus groups with a vertical cross-section of people from the Dungeness A Site teams and the Magnox Corporate project teams;
  • Observations and informal discussions on the Dungeness A Site including the construction office.

The topics explored were:

  • The effectiveness of the lead team.
  • The effectiveness of internal challenge and decision making
  • Interaction between the Dungeness Site and Magnox Corporate Centre

The findings were grouped under the leadership and management for safety Safety Assessment Principles MS1-4.

Overall, what we sampled was positive. However, we saw a threat, as the main theme was tension between the leadership of work on site and programme delivery, because of lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities, priorities, and strategic direction.

At a tactical level we found people were committed to safety, but within their silos. During the interviews, focus groups and observations we conducted, many interviewees clearly put safety as the highest priority for the site.

Advice provided was that:

  • Magnox Dungeness A conducts a review of the organisational baseline of Dungeness A against the requirements of the future programme.
  • Magnox conducts a review of the roles and responsibilities of the Site Director and the Programmes to ensure clarity and coherence.
  • There is a renewed focus on communication with the people on site about the future work programme and their roles.
  • Training and communication to explain the intent of safety initiatives to effectively support implementation.

Conclusion

This was a leadership and management for safety review and, as such, was not a rated inspection.