Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Compliance Inspection of Licence Condition 21

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all regulatory interaction with the Capenhurst site against a strategy defined by the relevant ONR Programme. This strategy covers routine inspections of operational plants and also inspections that inform regulatory decisions that may permit activities to progress on modified or new plants. In accordance with that strategy, a compliance inspection of Site Licence Condition 21 - Commissioning on the Tails Management Facility was undertaken as planned.

The Tails Management Facility is a new plant being constructed at the Capenhurst site by Urenco Chemical Plants Ltd which will convert depleted uranium hexafluoride (known as tails) to an oxide of uranium, a chemical form more suitable for long-term storage as it is less hazardous. Commissioning arrangements for the Tails Management Facility have been inspected previously and were rated as adequate. This inspection of the Tails Management Facility was the first of a series of inspections that will be carried out to gain regulatory confidence that the commissioning is proceeding safely and in accordance with those arrangements.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I carried out an on-site compliance inspection of commissioning of the Tails Management Facility. The inspection targeted the arrangements used by Urenco UK, the licensee, to give permission to Urenco Chemical Plants, the Tails Management Facility tenant, to energise the high voltage electrical supply to the Tails Management Facility. The inspection comprised of a presentation, a plant inspection and a representative sample of the documents used by both parties.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

This was not a system based inspection, and therefore no judgement has been made of the adequacy of implementation of any part of the safety case.

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

From the evidence provided and observations made during my inspection of the facility, I am satisfied that the licensee has adequately implemented it's arrangements for control the tenant's commissioning activities for the energisation of the high voltage electrical supply to the Tails Management Facility. In my opinion an ONR inspection rating of Green (No Formal Action) is justified for compliance with Licence Condition 21 - Commissioning.

Conclusion of Intervention

This inspection was targeted at a distinct process at the beginning of the Tails Management Facility commissioning. My judgement is that the licensee and tenant have put in place robust arrangements and are operating in compliance with the system.