Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Oldbury nuclear licensed site planned inspections and meetings

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

I undertook inspections of Magnox Ltd's Oldbury nuclear licensed site as part of the planned intervention strategy for the Decommissioning, Fuel and Waste Programme of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).  Oldbury updated me on progress with intermediate level waste (ILW) decommissioning activities on the site.

I met four of the Oldbury Safety Representative and gave a presentation to Oldbury staff on ONR and nuclear law.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I sampled how the Magnox Ltd arrangements for incidents on sites (licence condition 7 (LC7)), emergency arrangements (LC11), management systems (LC17), examination, inspection, maintenance and testing (LC28), and decommissioning (LC35) were applied to activities on the site.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

I did not undertake an inspection of a safety system during this visit to the site, but noted Oldbury had improved the pond ventilation system since my inspection in September 2016.

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

Oldbury hadn't had a significant incident for some time.  My LC7 compliance inspection indicated that a lot of anomalies were reported and used to improve safety on the site.  Oldbury also applied incident analysis methodology to new decommissioning activities to design out the risk of certain incidents.  

For my LC11 emergency arrangements inspection, a colleague and I discussed the Oldbury safety case prepared to demonstrate that the nuclear risk from the site had reduced significantly and it may therefore be possible to remove the off-site emergency planning requirements placed on the local councils.  As a follow-up to this inspection I asked Oldbury how it was preparing staff for the resultant on-site new emergency scheme.  I gained confidence that Oldbury would be in a position to implement the new scheme and demonstrate this to me by June 2017.

During my inspection of management systems (LC17), Oldbury showed me how they control the quality and safety of work undertaken on the site by workers from other sites and contractors.  

I agreed with Oldbury that given the hazards remaining on the site and the nuclear decommissioning work being undertaken, it was appropriate that the nuclear maintenance schedule was limited to pond work and emergency equipment. Oldbury also provided me with the safety case for removing three of the four beyond design basis accident containers in line with the reduced hazard since the nuclear fuel was removed from the site.  Oldbury confirmed that, if appropriate for the decommissioning activities being undertaken, additions would be made to the nuclear maintenance schedule.

Oldbury updated me on preparations to remove redundant equipment from the pond and making mobile ILW passively safe for long-term storage and future disposal.

Conclusion of Intervention

I found no issues that would adversely affect nuclear safety from the information Oldbury gave me and evidence I gathered during this inspection. For the aspects I inspected, Oldbury met the licence conditions being considered.