A nuclear safety check at the Rosyth Dockyard has found “several shortfalls” which were branded “significant” by inspectors.
Site operator Babcock has been ordered to make “improvements” after a report by the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) rated compliance against two key conditions as “amber”.
The issues related to arrangements for nuclear safety roles at Rosyth Royal Dockyard Ltd (RRDL), and included “several significant gaps and errors in the records sampled”.
The ONR said it involved “written arrangements and record keeping”, and that there was “no risk to the public or workers at Rosyth”.
Rosyth Dockyard was used for the refit, repair and maintenance of operational nuclear submarines from the 1960s until 2003, with submarines defueled and decommissioned onsite.
A long-delayed Ministry of Defence project for the final dismantling of laid-up submarines is currently at the planning stage.
Babcock was given responsibility for assembling Britain’s multibillion pound Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.
In June, an ONR inspection identified “several positive aspects” at the site, including that a competency management system was in use and was being kept up to date, and that key individuals were able to clearly explain their role and provide confidence that they held suitable competence.
However, the ONR also found “gaps” in the way the roles with nuclear safety importance were identified and reviewed, as well as in the requirement to identify what was needed to deliver such roles.
The arrangements were also said to be “not clear” in terms of whether they applied to contractors taking up nuclear safety roles, and there was no “clear criteria” as to when a role would require “duly authorised persons” to be involved.
Meanwhile, the ONR found “several significant gaps and errors in the records sampled” in relation to the way such arrangements were applied, that RRDL was “unable to provide records of the qualifications held by individuals for roles on the nuclear baseline”, and “found errors in the records held regarding individual competency”.
A Babcock spokesman said: “We are updating some aspects of our training record administration process following a routine inspection by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) at our Rosyth facilities.
“The ONR has confirmed that there is no safety significance in relation to the actions required.
“We welcome the ONR’s observations and acknowledgement of the competence of our workforce, and we are confident that these improvements will enhance our record keeping and retrieval processes.”
We welcome the ONR’s observations and acknowledgement of the competence of our workforce, and we are confident that these improvements will enhance our record keeping and retrieval processes.”
A spokesman for the ONR said: “This was part of our routine programme of inspections at Rosyth Royal Dockyard Ltd (RRDL).
“The inspection identified some shortfalls in RRDL’s written arrangements and record keeping related to how the site records and manages competency.
“However, we gained confidence that those individuals spoken to were competent for the roles they undertake as detailed in our inspectors conclusion.
“We judge that there was no risk to the public or workers at Rosyth however, by the standards we expect of nuclear sites, we want to see improvements by RRDL, which they have committed to.
“We will continue to hold the site to account to ensure the necessary improvements are made.”