Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Inspection of GEHC’s nuclear safety committee (NSC) arrangements (LC13) and observation of proceedings relating to decommissioning of C-Bench

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The intervention was held to observe the proceedings of GE Healthcare’s Nuclear Safety Committee (NSC) held at the Grove Centre, Amersham, Buckinghamshire for two reasons: (i) to form a view on the effectiveness of the operation of the committee and the quality of its advice; and (ii) to assist ONR in its decision on whether/how to permission the proposed activities in a safety case for the decommissioning of C-Bench, a contaminated legacy radioactive source production facility on the site.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

ONR made a regulatory judgement on the licensee’s compliance with Licence Condition 13 (Nuclear Safety Committee).

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable

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

ONR observed that the administration of the meeting was effective, and the conduct of the committee was open and relaxed.  The meeting was well-chaired, with internal and independent members given clear and unhurried opportunities to express their views.  These were then well summarised in clear advice to the licensee.  Appropriate challenge from internal and independent members was displayed in the meeting, and the independent members of the committee provided strong and clear independent input to the committee’s decision-making.

The discussion and views expressed on the decommissioning safety case gave ONR confidence that an appropriate process had been followed, and will be considered in ONR’s subsequent decision on whether/how to permission the proposed activities.

Conclusion of Intervention

On the basis of the evidence of our observations of the proceedings of the committee, we formed the view that the committee gave valuable and high quality advice to the licensee.  We considered that the operation of the committee was likely to provide a strong contribution to the safety performance of the company.  Our observations indicated effective compliance with the aspects of LC13 inspected, and we considered that an IIS inspection rating of 3 (adequate) was appropriate.