Skip to content

DRDL improvement notice extended

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has extended an improvement notice served on Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd (DRDL), recognising the progress made so far.

The notice was served on DRDL after a worker experienced an electrical shock while working onboard HMS Vanguard nuclear submarine in September 2021.

At the time, routine maintenance work was underway on site on an electrical system on the submarine.

The worker did not sustain any injuries.

There was no risk to nuclear safety, the public or the environment as a result of the incident.

The incident occurred onboard the submarine while in the 9 Dock facility at the Devon site.

Following the event, DRDL suspended electrical work on the submarine, informed ONR and carried out an internal review into the incident.

ONR subsequently issued an improvement notice and monitored DRDL’s progress as they introduced interim measures to control electrical work on the submarine and outlined plans for long-term safety improvements across the site.

This notice period was due to expire in mid-December, but has been extended by six-months, until 12 June 2023.

Bruce Archer, Head of the ONR’s Propulsion Sub-Division, said: “After DRDL’s self-imposed suspension of electrical work, we judged that DRDL was able to operate safely and the additional time to demonstrate the required improvements will not pose a risk to the safety of the workers or the public.

“Noting the significant progress in meeting the requirements of the notice made by DRDL, we have agreed to a six-month extension for the licensee to demonstrate that safety improvements are sustainable.

“We will continue to monitor the progress made to ensure full compliance with the notice.”

ONR issued the improvement notice under the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 Sections 2(1) and 3(1), Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 Regulations 4(3) and 13, and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulation 1999 Regulation 5(1).