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The AWE sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield remain in ‘enhanced regulatory attention,’ largely due to the fact that we are operating in a number of ageing facilities. Some of these facilities were built in the 1950s and require extensive upgrades to bring them in line with modern safety standards. There is a fully funded programme in place to make these changes.
AWE is working closely with the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) on a programme of work which is designed to bring about business improvements while also serving to move the Aldermaston and Burghfield sites into routine regulatory attention by 2020. This programme of work, called the Structured Improvement Programme (SIP), consists of a collection of related projects focussing on regulatory interactions, process management, change management and operations management.
AWE’s Chief Executive, Iain Coucher, said: “Everybody at AWE is committed to achieving high standards in safety performance. In an industry like ours, our aspirations around safety are to be leaders, nothing less. The SIP sets us challenging but achievable targets which we will be working towards over the next few years in collaboration with our regulators.”
Since AWE made its Periodic Review of Safety submission to the ONR for the Burghfield Assembly Technology Centre (ATC) in September 2016, progress to this upgrade has been made. AWE is committed to delivering the ONR’s key requirements for this facility.
The ONR Annual Report acknowledges some ‘notable achievements’ made during the year by AWE for the close-out of improvement notices relating to the control of changes to management systems and specifications for the production of safety documentation.