Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned Intervention to inspect the Implementation of Licence Condition 21 Arrangements, for the Commissioning of a new Uranium Residue Processing Facility

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This planned intervention was focused on the licensee’s implementation of licence condition 21 (commissioning) arrangements. This intervention formed part of the 2015/2016 Intervention Programme.

Intervention Carried Out by ONR

I inspected the commissioning of a new legacy uranium residue processing facility, recently inactively commissioned and about to enter the active commissioning phase. 

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

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

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

The licensee had developed and then implemented an appropriate safety case for this new facility.  The safety case had been applied to modify the initial design of the facility, in order to minimise the key hazards of criticality and fire.  The key safety measures derived from the safety case had been clearly identified and translated into duly categorised plant safety features and safety related equipment, a number of which were observed during the plant inspection.  The licensee had appropriately engaged technical support from the National Nuclear Laboratory Limited tenant on the site, both for process development and for technical support to the commissioning of the facility.  Arrangements for training the plant operators, for commissioning of this facility, were considered by me to be proven and effective.  The facility management were seen to have established high standards at the outset of commissioning, which I considered supported the safety standards of the facility.  Robust arrangements were being applied to control the commissioning process, through the use of clearly defined hold points, duly subject to review, as commissioning developed.

In view of the licensee’s clear explanation of the safety case and the range of safety measures which I observed during the inspection of the facility, complemented by the discussions with the commissioning staff, I formed the view that the licensee’s overall implementation of commissioning arrangements was of a good standard at this facility.

Conclusion of Intervention

During this inspection of the commissioning of a new legacy uranic residue processing facility, the licensee effectively demonstrated the implementation of comprehensive and robust safety arrangements for the control of the commissioning of the new facility.  Consequently, I concluded that an inspection rating for licence condition 21, commissioning, of “2”, good, was warranted for this intervention.