My intervention was held at Hinkley Point A (HPA) to undertake planned inspections of their compliance with restrictions on nuclear matter on the site, instructions to persons on the site, duly appointed and suitably qualified persons and an emergency contingency arrangements demonstration exercise.
These activities are part of ONR’s Decommissioning, Fuel and Waste intervention programme for HPA.
The interventions used ONR guidance on the relevant licence condition being considered to judge how well HPA was meeting the condition. I shared the aspects of the ONR guidance I would be addressing in my inspections with the site prior to the interventions. HPA also gave me updates on current and future nuclear safety work on the site.
This intervention did not include the inspection of a safety system.
My inspection showed HPA was adequately meeting the licence conditions considered in the work currently being undertaken. Additional work would be required before some of the new work envisaged could be undertaken to ensure licence conditions continued to be implemented. In addition I found some areas of good practice and some areas where improvements could be made.
Of the updates on current and future nuclear safety work on the site, the elution trials gave the prospect of benefits to radioactive waste management at Magnox nuclear licensed sites with redundant fuel cooling ponds. Elution uses water to extract radioactivity from the paint on the walls and potentially pond furniture. The trials provided a measurable reduction in contact radiation dose rates of 18% on average after 7 weeks of trials. This could potentially provide both decommissioning cost savings and reduce radiation doses to workers, reduce the quantity of intermediate level waste to be stored at nuclear licensed sites and reduce the risks to workers decommissioning the facilities.
In the areas inspected, HPA demonstrated that the site was compliant with licence conditions addressing restrictions on nuclear matter on the site, instructions to persons on the site, duly appointed and suitably qualified persons and an emergency contingency arrangements demonstration exercise.