Document Sample
					The County Manager
Berltshire County Council
Shire Hall
Shinfield Park
RG2 9 X A

                                                                              14 February 1 9 9 7


I n accordance w i t h Section 3 ( 3 ) o f rhe Nuclear Insrallations A c t 1 9 6 5 , 1 a m directed
b y the Health and Safety Executive (IHSE) to inform y o u that Hunting-BRAE Ltd,
w h i c h manages and operates the Atomic V?eapons Establishment ( A W E ) o n behalf o f
the Secretary o f State for Defence, has made applications t o t h e HSE f o r t h e AWE
sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield t o be licensed under the Nuclear Installations A c t

W h e n AWE is licensed, w e will be required t o demonstrate t o HSE's Nuclear
Installations Inspectorate the continuing safety o f our nuclear-related facilities at t h e
Aldermaston and Burghfield sites.        Specific licence conditions w i l l f o r m the
framework o f a safety management system appropriate for nuclear safety.

1-he Health and Safety Executive, t h e ~ r i v i r o n m e n tAgency and other independent
regulatory bodies will continue t o regulate our non-nuclear operations and t h e
Ministry o f Defence will continue t o evaluate our performance as required b y t h e
1 9 9 1 AWE A c t .

Representa-tions f r o m public bodies whose statufory duties may be affected b y t h e
licensing o f the sites may be made to                    Health and Safety Executive,
N ~ ~ c l e a r Licensing Section, Nuclea                rate, Sr Peter's House, Balliol
Road, Bootle, Merseyside, L 2 0 3LZ, within t l v e e months f r o m 14 February, 1 9 9 7 .
Responses t o consuli.atioi~issues sn'ould indicate the site t o w h i c h t h e y relate.
Should you wish to commen: o n other matters, the Health and Safety Execc~tivehas
requested that yotr do so in a separare letter.
 Working towards 

   Nuclear Site 

  Licensing for 

AWE Aldermastcan 

 and Burghfield 

  (APaper by Hunting-BRAE Ltd)
T o assist you, I a m pleased t o enclose a paper, entitled "Working T o w a r d s Nuclear
Site Licensing for AWE Aldermaston and Burghfield," w h i c h gives details a b o u t our
licence application. I t deals w i t h those issues, such as safety, waste management,
discharges, emergency plans and community liaison, w h i c h I understand are t h e k e y
issues for local public bodies and the community. For your information, I also enclose
copies o f our 1 9 9 5 Health, Safety and Environment Report, our 1 9 9 5 Discharges and
Environmental Monitoring Beport, our "Worltiny Towards Best Safety Practice"
brochure and the Health and Safety Executive's follow-up report o n safety
management at AWE. If y o u require. . further copies or have any questions about our
                                  ~.-  .
application, please contac                        M a n a g e r Corporate Communications o n
0 1 l 8 9 8 2 6347, or a t t h e l a d d i e s r e r head,

                                      Yours sincerely

                                      Chief Executive
 Reasons for Seelring Site Licences                                    Background
        H u n t i n g - B M s applications for licensing                     Prior to 1993, thefiderrnaston and Burgllfield
   under the 1965 Nuclear Ir~stallationsAct for                        sites (together with sites at Cardiff and Foulness')
  the Atomic Weapons Establishment sites at                           were operated by the Ministry of Defence and
  Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berlcshire have                       were exempt from the licensing requirement.
  been made in the interest of greater public                                In April 1993 the Ministry, as owner of the
  confidence in the safety of our operations.                         sites, placed a contract for their management and
       The Company will remain central to the                         operation with Hunting-BRAE Ltd, a company
  Unitecl IGngdom's nuclear deterrent programme.                      jointly owned by I-Iunting Engineering Ltd,
  It will continue to be responsible for all aspects                  Brown and Root Ltd and AEA Technology.
  of bringing nuclear warheads into service,                          The Ministry confirmed in the contract that
  including research and development, design,                         safety was to be of paramount inlportance.
  manufacture and assembly. It will also provide                            On taking over management responsibilities
 in-service support and safety assurance and,                         Hunting-BME carried out a comprehensive
  as weapons are retired, will undertake                              review of safety and implemented a Safety
 deconlmissioning and dismantling. There will be                      Development Programme.
 no change in the activities at the sites; it is the                        Because of the shift from Government to
 regulatory regime which is changing.                                contractor-controlled operations, the Health and
       Once licences ai:e granted, the Aldermaston                   Safety Executive carried out its own independent
 and Burghfield sites will be subject to the same                    review of safety management at AWE sites.
 regulatory controls that apply to the civil nuclear                 It recognised that the sites were adequately safe
 industry. The AWE sites at Cardiff and Foulness                     but made recommendatioils for improvements.
 do not require to be licensed as they do not fall                          Many of these had already been identified in
within the scope of the Nuclear Installations Act.                   our own Safety Development Programme. It is a
      Specific licence conditions for the                            measure of our success that we were able to
Alder~nastonand Burghfield sites will form the                       complete all but one of the recommendations
 framework of a safety management system                             before the end of 1996 to the satisfaction of the
appropriate for nuclear safety and we will have                      Executive. T h e remaining recommendation
 to demonstrate to the Health and Safety                             requires the construction of a new building,
Exec~~tive's  Nuclear Installations Inspectorate the                planning for which is well under way.
continuing safety of our nuclear-related facilities                        T h e speed and efficiency with which
at the two sites.                                                   the recommendations were met was fully
      The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate will                   aclcnowledged by the Health and Safety

regulate all our nuclear-related facilities. l h e                  Executive in its follow-up report as "a significant
Health and Safety Executive, the Environment                        achievernent."
Agency and other independent regulatory bodies                             The Executive's first recom~nendationwas
will conti~lue to regulate our non-nuclear                          that the Secretary of State for Defence should
operations. The Ministry of Defence will                            remove AWE'S immunity from licensing
continue to regulate the design of nuclear                          requirements under the Nuclear Installations
weapons and evaluate our performance as                             Act. By doing so, a system of health and safety
required by the 1991 AWE Act.                                       regulations could be put in place which would be
      We have our own fire and rescue services                                                effective and would be co-01-dinatedwith the local
and engineering and radiological prorection                                                   emergency services to protect public safety
teams based on our sites. The Ministry of                                                     Community Liaison
Defence Police are also an integral part of our
                                                                                                   The Company established a Local Liaison
emergency response organisation, providing
                                                                                              Committee in October 1993. The Committee
continuous security protection as well as
                                                                                              meets three times a year and comprises repre-
assistance to our specialist emergency teams.
                                                                                              sentatives of all local authorities at parish, town,
     At any time, 24-hours a day, these emergency
                                                                                              district, borough and county level. T h e Local
teams are ready to deal with incidents.
                                                                                              Liaison Committee will continue after licensing
      Emergency plans have been prepared in
                                                                                              to discuss matters of mutual interest. A repre-
conjunction with local authorities and the
                                                                                              sentative of the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate
emergency services. They are lodged with local
                                                                                              will be invited to attend future meetings.
authorities and are available to members of the
         on request. These plans deal with all                                                Representations
credible emergencies which might have off-site                                                     Representations from public bodies whose
consequeuces. We regularly exercise with local                                                statutory duties may be affected by the licensing
authorities and the civilian emergency services to                                            of the Aldermaston and Burghfield sites may be
test our emergency plans.                                                                     made to                        Health and Safety
     Our emergency arrangementsfor Aldennaston                                                Executive, Nuclear Site Licensing Section,
and Burghfield have been submitted to the                                                     Nuclear Safety Directorate, St Peter's House,
Nuclear Installations Inspectorate for approval                                               Balliol Road, Bootle, Merseyside L.20 3LZ,
and are demonstrated to them in a programme                                                   within three months from 17 Februay 1997.
of annual exercises. I11 addition, the Company                                                     Responses to consultation issues should
has issued                 on emergency response                                              indicate the site to which they relate. Should you
arrangements to all local residents.                                                          wish to comment on other matters, the Healh
     All ofthis is intended to ensure that, should an                                         and Safety Executive has requested you should
incident ever occut; the response would be rapid and                                          do so in a separate letter.

                                                              I-Iunting-RRAE Ltd manages
                                                              a i d operates Awl3 on behalf of
                                                              the Secretavy of State for Defence

0 CiownCoiyiighr   1997, Atomic Wclixmi   Errahlirhmenc, Aldrrrnlaon, Reading, lleikrhire RG7dPR. For furrhrr it~forniarionrclcphanc: 0118 982 S602 ur f u : 0113 982 4994
                        ANNEX A



         Pamber Heath

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