Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned intervention at the Devonport Royal Dockyard Limited Licensed Site

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This intervention at the Devonport Royal Dockyard Limited Licensed Site was undertaken as part of the 2015/16 intervention plan and propulsion sub-programme strategy.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The main purpose of this visit was: to attend regulatory update meetings, discuss progress on the nuclear safety improvement programme, discuss improvement notice I/2014/ONR/DMM/001 and carry out an implementation intervention for PSC 290 (VDMP).

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

A system based inspection was not carried out.

Key Findings, Inspector's Opinions and Reasons for Judgements Made

The 9 Dock Plant Manager reported that no significant nuclear or conventional safety events have occurred on 9 Dock which require immediate regulatory attention.  I concurred with his view.

A Category B modification change request is being raised to justify the safety of the repairs to the pipe work in 9 Dock.  I am content this provides a suitable level of scrutiny of the safety justification.  The change request will be sent to ONR for information.

A decision has been made that that the neutron sources will be removed in a similar way to that previously used during LOP(R).  Adopting this approach should ensure that an orphan waste stream is not created on site because the existing disposal routes can be utilised.

Operating limits and conditions and identified operating instructions resulting from the revised 9 Dock Safety Case for Vanguard Deep Maintenance Period are being incorporated into the operating documentation.  I judged DRDLs management and oversight of this activity to be adequate to ensure that operating instructions and other procedures are available for the next docking.  I did not find any reasons to withhold permission to implement CR 14888 with regard to Operating Rule compliance.

The Nuclear Safety Improvement Programme continues to have the support of senior management.  DRDL reported that the improvement projects are being implemented but progress is being affected by delays in the submarine programme and in securing suitable resources.  DRDL is working to resolve these issues. 

In response to an improvement notice DRDL has implemented revised arrangements for the control of radiological work and given ONR copies of the revised arrangements.  An inspection to confirm the adequacy and implementation of these arrangements is planned for January 2016.  A short visit to the NEMSFAC found housekeeping to be of a good standard and the posting of local rules and other information to be much improved since my last visit.  I consider that DRDL is currently on target for closing the notice in January.

Conclusion of Intervention

No shortfalls or issues were found which adversely affected nuclear safety or were judged to be of such regulatory concern as to require immediate action.  No regulatory issues were raised.