Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Heysham 2 Power Station – Transport inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

ONR Transport Programme inspected Heysham 2 Power Station in relation to the safe transport of radioactive material on the 16 and 17 February 2016. This Compliance Inspection was one of a series detailed in the ONR-RMT FY15/16 Transport Inspection Programme.

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of the inspection was to:

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The inspection was conducted by a ‘walk round’ the various parts of the site involved with the preparation and  transport of radioactive material, interviews with staff and documentary review.

The inspection was conducted against the requirements of the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (CDG09), a relevant statutory provision of the Energy Act 2013, and one which requires carriage by road and rail to be in accordance with the appropriate edition of a European Agreement known as ADR (for road and RID (for rail). The current edition are ADR 2015 and RID 2015. In particular, the inspection considered the following thematic areas:-– Management System, Package Maintenance and Operations, Package Preparation and Consignment, Safe Carriage of Packages, Training and Competence and Emergency Planning and Testing.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A – not a System/Structure Based Inspection.

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

The inspection concluded that the current arrangements at Heysham 2 for the safe carriage of radioactive material arising from power generation continue to be adequate.

One finding was made which Heysham 2 will consider further.  This relates to the testing of the A2 flask ullage water to confirm its pH. value meets the specification as referenced in the Transport Safety Case.

One observation was made. EDFE has over the last few years, introduced additional steps regarding the inspection and monitoring of the A2 flask as a reaction to transport incidents and issues. The additional steps have in the Inspector’s opinion added unnecessary duplication to the flask operation process. It would be prudent to review the process to reduce potential duplication of operations thereby improving efficiency and effectiveness and potentially reducing operator dose uptake (though it was noted that this was low).

The Inspector was satisfied that the issues observed in relation to current arrangements for carriage of Class 7 material did not present a significant risk to workers or the public, and that the site management is committed to reviewing the inspection findings and implementing appropriate corrective action. Consequently, no formal regulatory action was considered necessary on this occasion.

As part of the inspection, the consignment of ‘excepted packages’ was reviewed. Heysham 2 has implemented a process which assesses and records each and every ‘excepted package’ design against regulatory requirements. This is seen as good practice.

The segregation of radioactive waste is actively managed and the processes implemented at the station helps reduces radioactive waste having to be consignment to LLWR by finding other approved alternative means such as metal recycling or incineration waste routes. This is seen as good practice.

Conclusion of Intervention

The inspection found current arrangements for packaging and consignment of Class 7 material (irradiated spent fuel and other radioactive material) to be adequate for the purposes of ADR, and in compliance with the requirements of CDG09. The inspector did raise one finding and also made one observation.

The inspection identified area of good practice, these being:

  1. The management systems were of a high in standard;
  2. The assessment used  to assess excepted package design;
  3. The segregation of radioactive waste ready for consignment.