Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE - Planned compliance inspections against LC32 and LC34

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to attend routine briefing meetings with licensee (i.e. AWE plc) personnel, on progress with key safety related projects within the two AWE inspection portfolios for which I am the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) Site Inspector.  In addition, together with a specialist ONR Nuclear Liabilities Inspector, I conducted planned Licence Condition (LC) compliance inspections against LC 32 (“Accumulation of radioactive waste”) and LC 34 (“Leakage and Escape of Radioactive Material and Radioactive Waste”) in an AWE legacy production facility (A**), in accordance with the planned inspection programme contained in the AWE Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) and associated Intervention Plans.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The details of the individual meetings I conducted with key licensee personnel are provided in the body of this Intervention Report.  Although I requested some additional information with respect to a number of topics (e.g. provision of a licensee event investigation report), no matters were identified which required immediate regulatory attention/action.

In addition, accompanied by an ONR specialist Nuclear Liabilities Inspector, I conducted LC 32 and LC 34 compliance inspections of the implementation of the licensee’s arrangements, made under LCs 32 and 34, in the context of operations within the A** legacy facility.  

The intervention was performed in line with ONR's guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides) in the areas inspected.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A.

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

During my routine meetings with the licensee no matters requiring immediate regulatory attention were identified.

In the case of both the LC 32 and LC 34 inspections, we inspected the licensee’s arrangements made under these Licence Conditions and judged the arrangements to adequately meet ONR’s expectations.

The LC 32 inspection was rated green but advice was provided to the licensee that more progress needs to be made with early characterisation of large items of contaminated redundant plant and equipment, so that suitable post-operational clean-out and decommissioning can be planned into the licensee’s future work programme.

The LC 34 inspection was also rated green as generally liquid wastes were well controlled and bunded.  However, the licensee was advised that a more robust leak detection system needed to be put in place for the ongoing surveillance of a plant item where recent oil leaks were observed.

Conclusion of Intervention

No matters were identified as requiring prompt regulatory attention during either of the routine interactions with the licensee’s personnel, or during the LC 32/34 inspections.  The LC 32/34 inspection demonstrated that the licensee has adequate arrangements in place under both of these licence conditions and is working to these arrangements in the context of its operations within the A** complex.  However, some areas requiring additional licensee attention were advised and this advice was accepted by the licensee.