Office for Nuclear Regulation

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LC11 Demonstration Exercise & LC24 Follow up Inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report covers a number of interventions with the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR), relating to LLWR operations which were undertaken as part of the planned ONR LLWR inspection programme for 2015/16

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The main interventions undertaken during the site visit were:

During the visit a number of other interventions/discussions were undertaken including:

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable

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

Site Licence Condition 24 “Operating Instructions” follow up Inspection – These discussions and follow up inspection activities were planned to follow up the findings of the ONR Licence Condition 24 (LC24) “Operating Instructions” inspection carried out in Oct 2014. Overall, the ONR Site Inspector considered that, with respect to the aspects covered in this inspection and the Oct 2014 inspection, the LLWR LC24 arrangements and their implementation were adequate and that the LLWR operators’ compliance with the arrangements was also adequate. LLWR is proactively implementing improvements to the LLWR LC24 arrangements and it is considered that LLWR has made adequate progress in recent months.

Site Licence Condition 11 – Level 1 Demonstration Exercise Theta 8 – The exercise was based on a fire, at the LLWR Plutonium Contaminated Material (PCM) Drum Store. The ONR observers observed the exercise at the central Incident Control Centre (ICC), the Forward Control Point (FCP) and the Incident locations. Unfortunately part way through the exercise an exercise “direction/control” problem occurred which took some time to rectify. This “exercise management” issue affected the subsequent exercise performance particularly at the FCP and incident positions. Overall the ONR observers considered the exercise participants would have adequately coped with the “incident” exercised. However the “exercise management issue” meant that the participants did not/could not fully demonstrate their capability during the exercise.  Following compilation of the detailed exercise observations an ONR/LLWR meeting is planned to review the identified area of good practice and areas for improvement. In addition ONR will now witness a future planned LLWR Emergency exercise to further observe those elements which were particularly affected by the “exercise management” issues eg FCP command and control, FCP barrier control, casualty recovery.  

LLWR Annual Review of Safety Meeting – LLWR outlined in their presentations the key performance information and learning from LLWR operations during 2014/15. Overall the ONR attendees considered that LLWR had adequately reflected the highlights, issues and concerns arising from 2014/15 operations and had identified, and were progressing, work to address the problems encountered during the year. It was also considered that the presentations had facilitated an appropriate discussion on the “forward look” on LLWR planned work programmes during 2015/16.

Other interventions - It is considered that the various interventions undertaken did not raise any significant new issues or concerns. However a number of actions were placed on LLWR to progress and several topics will be followed up in future site visits/ discussions with LLWR staff.

Conclusion of Intervention

Other than the items outlined in the previous section no other matters were raised during the interventions covered by this report which were considered to require any immediate additional regulatory action.