The County Manager
Berltshire County Council
RG2 9 X A
14 February 1 9 9 7
NUCLEAR SITE LICENSING FOR A W E ALDERMASTON A N D BURGHFIELD
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.
(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,
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