In March the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) announced that it had issued identical improvement notices to Aldermaston and Burghfield regarding the way safety documentation is handled. The sites are required to make changes to their processes within a certain timescale, which was not made public in the initial announcement.
Nuclear licensed sites have to rigorously maintain documentation covering policy, procedures and standards, and have a system in place for controlling changes to this documentation. The improvement notices arose from a compliance inspection which was carried out after routine inspections highlighted shortcomings in this area.
ONR said the problems identified included the lack of a grading system for changes to documentation, failure to properly implement a system for controlling the changes and “a disproportionate emphasis on reducing the burden of health and safety on the business”.
ONR said that the problems did not present an immediate risk to the public, but if the situation was not addressed it could have safety implications in the future.