Minutes of the 53rd AWE Local Liaison Committee Meeting


Minutes of the 53rd AWE Local Liaison Committee MeetingThursday 5 June 2008

Thursday 5 June 2008



Actions from the last meeting


Easter Demonstration at AWE Aldermaston

Burghfield Site Exercise

Britain's Top Employer 2008 Competition

UK Institute for Shock Physics

These annual awards recognize achievements in the SET field during 2007.

The SET awards were also used to celebrate the career of AWE's Chief Scientist, Clive Marsh, who has made a unique contribution to AWE and in fostering our international interactions.

"58 at 50" Exhibition

Dr David Glue Deputy Managing Director, AWE Chairman LLC
Dr Andrew Jupp Director Infrastructure, AWE
Heather Young Director Assurance, AWE
Alan Price Head Corporate Communications, AWE
Lindsey Appleton Corporate Affairs Manager, AWE Secretary LLC
Cllr Philip Bassil Brimpton Parish Council
Cllr Mike Broad Tadley Town Council
Cllr Malcolm Bryant Wokingham Borough Council
Cllr Jonathan Chishick Tidmarsh with Sulham Parish Council
Cllr Valerie Frost Tadley Town Council
Cllr John Heggadon Shinfield Parish Council
Cllr Peter Hobbs Sulhamstead Parish Council
Cllr Dudley Ives Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council
Cllr Kay Lacey Pangbourne Parish Council
Ian Lindsay Wasing Parish Council
Cllr George McGarvie Pamber Heath Parish Council
Jeff Moss Swallowfield Parish Council
John Southall Purley-on-Thames Parish Council
Cllr Alan Sumner Wokefield Parish Council
Cllr Clive Vare Aldermaston Parish Council
Cllr Tim Whitaker Mapledurham Parish Council
Cllr David Wood Theale Parish Council
Andrew Lindley Nuclear Installations Inspectorate
Mike Finnerty Nuclear Installations Inspectorate
Dr Glue welcomed members to the 53rd meeting.
Apologies had been received from Dr Don Cook, Cllr Bill Cane, Cllr Pennee Chopping, Cllr Terry Faulkner, Cllr Pat Garrett, Ms Julie James, Cllr David Leeks, Cllr Royce Longton, Cllr Irene Neill, Mr Tom Payne, Mr Barry Richards, Cllr Murray Roberts, Cllr David Shirt, and Cllr Wendy Williamson.
Action 52/1: Heather Young provided data on comparisons to LLC members.
Action 52/2: Gareth Beard reported his findings during the meeting.
Action 52/3: Andrew Jupp will cover the issue of refuse surrounding the sites during his
Action 52/4: Overhead slides are now on A4.
Minutes of the 52nd Meeting
The minutes of the 52nd meeting were accepted as a true record.
Chairman's remarks – Dr David Glue, Deputy Managing Director, AWE Plc.
CND held a major demonstration on Easter Bank Holiday Monday to mark the 50th anniversary of the original "Aldermaston marches". Around 4,000 protestors arrived by coach from all parts of the country. The demo was generally good natured with protestors gathering at site gates for speeches and then attempting to surround the Aldermaston site.
A major Site exercise took place at Burghfield during the morning of 22 April. This level 1 exercise was observed by representatives of the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) and by the MoD as part of their normal duties. Overall, the regulators considered it to be a good demonstration of AWE's Site Emergency Arrangements and their capabilities.
AWE was ranked 10th in the Britain's Top Employer 2008 competition which is judged by representatives of the Corporate Research Foundation, Croners, Cranfield University and The Guardian newspaper. The achievement is an encouraging improvement on last year's ranking of 24th.
AWE has signed a contract with Imperial College to establish the UK Institute for Shock Physics (UKISP).
Science, Engineering &Technology (SET) Awards
The John Challens Medal, which recognizes an individual who has made a sustained, high quality and valued contribution to the work of AWE in the SET field, went to Dr John McMordie.
The Discovery Award, presented to an individual who is judged to have made the most innovative contribution in the SET field. This year the award went to Dr Peter Morrell.
The JC (Charlie) Martin awards, which recognise excellent technical content, originality and presentation demonstrated in an AWE internal report or externally published paper, went to Dr Andrew Barlow (internal) and to Dr Mogon Patel and Dr Anthony Swain (external).
In May, the Company hosted a special exhibition to celebrate 50 years of the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement. This Agreement was reached between the United States of America and the United Kingdom following the conclusion of the Grapple series of nuclear tests.
The exhibition attracted 5,000 visitors at AWE before it moving to MoD in London and then various locations in the United States.
AWE Community Ambassadors Awards
The first "AWE Community Ambassadors" awards recognised and rewarded those individuals who work selflessly "outside the wire" in a voluntary role. 5 award winners were guests at a special concert, sponsored by AWE, as part of the Newbury Spring Festival at Highclere Castle.
Apprentice Academy
Following an Ofsted inspection in March, AWE's apprentice scheme has been placed in the top two per cent of adult learning providers within the UK. The Company has also been recognised by Newbury College as the "Employer most committed to learning" – an award sponsored by West Berkshire Council.
At the Learning & Skills Council South East regional finals, AWE was runner-up for Best Large Employer and Steve Purchell was named as the Best Advanced Modern Apprentice.
Inaccurate claims about AWE Burghfield
LLC members may have read a number of inaccurate claims about work at AWE Burghfield reported in the national and local media.
  • For example that safety shortfalls at the site had been identified by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII). In fact the issues referred to were identified by the Company in its own Periodic Review of Safety.
  • That the NII had instructed the Company to stop live nuclear working at Burghfield. In fact it was the Company which took the decision not to undertake live nuclear working while remedial work was undertaken following temporary disruption due to flooding in July 2007.
  • That disruption at Burghfield had an adverse effect on the UK deterrent programme. In fact the disruption did not have an adverse effect on the UK deterrent programme and remedial work at AWE Burghfield has been carried out in line with the Company's operational programme.

Slides attached

Infrastructure Report – Dr Andrew Jupp, Director Infrastructure

Ask the Regulators

Any Other Business

Lindsey Appleton

Secretary to the AWE LLC

Health, Safety & Environmental Report – Heather Young, D. Assurance
Safety Performance Indicators
Assurance performance
Overall improvement from 2000 to 2007 took a slight turndown in the last year as the end of year figures for Injury rates show. However, contractors improved their performance over the year, especially in the reduction of Lost Time Accidents. Radiation dose figures underwent a re-appraisal this year and the company plans to improve further our measurement and control of workers in these areas.
NII Improvement Notice
In April the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) issued an Improvement Notice requiring AWE to remedy deficiencies in compliance. The notice pertains to AWE's criticality monitoring arrangements and requires compliance to be achieved by January 2009.
Environment Agency Warning Letter
AWE has received a warning letter from the Environment Agency, relating to the management of closed mobile radioactive sources following an abnormal event. Following an investigation, the regulator is content with the company's programme to reinforce the stewardship of sources used in threat reduction activities vital to national security.
Burghfield Sitex
A successful demonstration of AWE Burghfield's emergency arrangements was held on 22 April and was observed by representatives of the NII and EA. Only minor areas for improvement were identified.
Manufacture & Storage of Explosives
The Manufacturing & Storage of Explosives Regulations replaced the Explosives Act 1875. That Act did not apply to the Crown or its agents, including AWE. The legislation allows a 3 year transition period during which regulations transfer from the Ministry of Defence to Health and Safety Executive licensing. Local authority assent would be required for significant variations to the safeguarded area outside AWE sites. This process is not necessary for the majority of minor changes but AWE will advise and support West Berkshire Council as necessary.
ROSPA Awards
AWE won three major trophies in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) annual awards for Health & Safety, Occupational Health and Environment.
The company won the Astor trophy for Occupational Health for the second time and is the only company to have won this accolade twice. AWE also won the International Dilmun award for Environmental management. Heather Young said that whilst the company is celebrating these achievements, AWE will not become complacent and will continually look to improve in all areas.
Gareth Beard, Head of Environment, reported on the issue of packaging waste in response to action 52/2 at the previous meeting. Gareth explained that there is a duty of care to minimize the amount of packaging waste placed on companies which supply goods of over 50 tonnes and with a £2m plus turnover.
Packaging at AWE is recycled and segregated and in March 2008, the company signed a sustainable procurement contract, for the supply of goods and services. In addition, the company continues to roll out its Integrated Waste Strategy which includes the minimisation of waste.
38% of office waste was recycled during 2007. Ian Lindsay commented on the bottled water from France available at the meeting. Action 53/1: Andrew Jupp agreed to speak to suppliers.
At the February meeting, Cllr David Leeks raised the issue of the amount of refuse surrounding the Aldermaston site perimeter. (Action52/3). Andrew Jupp stated that AWE has spoken to our contractors to ensure their loads to site are securely fastened. All operations on site have been reminded that we do not add to any waste issues surrounding the sites. Andrew stated that as a "one off" event, our grounds contractors have been asked to check for litter in the ditches surrounding the Aldermaston site but stressed that this is not AWE's responsibility.
Ian Lindsay commented on the queues outside the gates on the morning of the LLC meeting. Andrew Jupp explained that a minor gas leak had required some traffic management to be put in place.
Traffic & Travel
The roundabout at the Aldermaston gate was opened on May 6. Work on the Tadley gate is progressing and due for completion at the end of July 2008. Dave Murray will give an update on Traffic and Travel improvements at the September meeting.
Site Development 2008 Update– John Steele, Planning and Development Manager
John Steele gave an update on the company's sites development programme. LLC members had received a copy of the Site Development Context Plan 08 (SDCP08) which updates the document issued in November 2005. The Context Plan sets out the company's long-term development proposals. By August 2008, over 60 buildings at AWE Burghfield – amounting to over 100,000 square feet of WW2 legacy and 20% of the total site area – will have been "cleaned" ready for construction.
A planning application for a Conventional Manufacturing Rationalisation (CMR) at Burghfield has been submitted to West Berkshire Council. The company expects an application for a new assembly/disassembly facility to be submitted later this year. John Steele offered to give this presentation to local councils if requested.
Cllr Bryant asked whether a feasibility study had been undertaken to move operations from Burghfield to Aldermaston. Andrew Jupp said this had been done in 2003/04 and it was concluded that there were technical reasons why this could not be done.
John Southall asked about WW2 building records and the extent to which they would be made public. John Steele replied that this would be covered within AWE's Heritage Management Strategy through which such documents will be retained and accessible.
Andrew Lindley of the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) told members that the NII are part of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). All Freedom of Information (FOI) responses issued by the NII can be viewed on the HSE's website- www.hse.gov.uk
Mr Lindley stated that the NII, along with the other major regulators of AWE's operations, fully support the Company's site development strategy.
Cllr Tim Whitaker asked whether there had been a final decision on the future of the decommissioned Pangbourne Pipeline Pumphouse. Action 53/2: Andrew Jupp will give an update at the next meeting.
Dates of next meetings
Thursday 4th September 2008
Thursday 11th December 2008
The meeting ended with a visit to AWE Burghfield. LLC members were also invited to look around a Sustainability Exhibition at AWE Aldermaston.
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