Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned joint intervention with the Environment Agency, to review aspects of the licensee’s containment of radioactive material

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This planned intervention comprised of three elements.  I participated in both the quarterly regulatory review meeting and a meeting of the Springfields Site Stakeholder Group.  The following day, a planned joint intervention was conducted with the Environment Agency, to review aspects of the licensee’s containment of radioactive material.  This intervention formed part of the 2015/2016 Intervention Programme.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I participated in the planned quarterly regulatory liaison meeting between the licensee, a tenant organisation and the regulators. 

I participated in a planned meeting of the Springfields Site Stakeholder Group, held near to the site. 

This was a planned joint ONR and Environment Agency intervention, to inspect aspects of the recent effective implementation of the licensee’s arrangements for the containment of radioactive material.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

As no system inspection was undertaken, this was not applicable to this intervention.

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

A broad range of topics of regulatory interest were discussed at the quarterly regulatory liaison meeting, with a positive outcome.  Acceptable progress was reported with the site decommissioning projects and with hazard reduction arising from the processing of legacy uranium bearing materials.  The licensee’s implementation of arrangements to safety manage the continuing reductions in the site work force were discussed.  The licensee was applying improvements arising from the licensee’s site wide review of weigh scale equipment, which I had previously requested.

The independently chaired Springfields Site Stakeholder Group meeting was conducted in the usual open manner, where I was able to address some minor queries relating to recent ONR site interventions.

I was accompanied by an ONR specialist at this joint ONR and Environment Agency intervention, to ascertain the adequacy of the licensee’s implementation of arrangements to contain radioactive material.  The licensee and a specialist contractor had conducted a prompt and extensive programme of work, to investigate and quantify the containment of low level radioactive material, rapidly identifying a small area beneath the site, containing some low levels of residual uranic material.  The licensee was proceeding, at pace, with work aimed at promptly remediating this matter.

Conclusion of Intervention

Following the quarterly regulatory liaison meeting, I was content with the licensee’s progress with the delivery of a range of site decommissioning and legacy uranic residue processing and hazard reduction projects, which warranted an inspection rating for licence condition 35, decommissioning, of 3, adequate.

The Springfields Site Stakeholder Group meeting enabled me to explain recent ONR site interventions and to promptly address some related minor queries, arising from the members.

I was content with the scope and prompt timescales being applied by the licensee to ascertain and address an issue relating to the containment of radioactive material.  The licensee was working well with the specialist contractor and had quickly identified the relevant underground area on the licensed site.  A timely, funded and robust plan was being implemented by the licensee, to deliver corrective action.