The intervention was a planned joint Office for Nuclear Regulation and Environment Agency intervention to inspect the decommissioning project at the East Side Curtilage area of the Capenhurst nuclear licensed site.
Capenhurst Nuclear Services Limited, a tenant organisation on the Urenco UK Limited nuclear licensed site at Capenhurst, presented an update to the characterisation and remediation project for the East Side Curtilage area of the site. A visit to the area followed to enable visualisation of the progress, and to view the extent of accumulated waste remaining in the area. Findings were considered against the requirements of Licence Condition 34 (Leakage and escape of radioactive material and radioactive waste) in addition to the relevant Safety Assessment Principles and the recently published Technical Assessment Guide on Land Quality Management.
It was evident that Capenhurst Nuclear Services Limited has made progress with the decommissioning of the East Side Curtilage area from that observed during the previous intervention in February 2015. The tenant organisation was able to demonstrate understanding of the contamination characteristics of the area having now completed the characterisation phase.
The outcome from an optioneering workshop which considered the credible options for remediation of the East Side Curtilage was discussed, with the chosen option representing a sensible solution on the basis of the evidence gathered during this intervention.
Capenhurst Nuclear Services demonstrated that appropriate challenges were being made to the three potential contractors for the remediation work, particularly with respect to waste minimisation and waste management.
Capenhurst Nuclear Services explained that a storage raft for uranium hexafluoride cylinders will be constructed on the East Side Curtilage area once remediation has been completed. This will help maintain progress in delivery of the decommissioning project.
Capenhurst Nuclear Services Limited was encouraged to consider if and how records of waste accumulated in the East Side Curtilage could be made more demonstrably robust.
Capenhurst Nuclear Services Limited was also encouraged not to focus on the area in isolation but to consider placing the East Side Curtilage into the wider Capenhurst site land quality management context, to ensure that potential contamination migration pathways are fully understood.
From the evidence gathered during this intervention, I conclude that the there has been adequate progress with the project and consequently an IIS rating of 3 – Adequate is appropriate for the East Side Curtilage decommissioning project for compliance against Licence Condition 34.