Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned inspection at RRMPOL

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This intervention at the RRMPOL Nuclear Fuel Production Plant Raynesway and Neptune Reactor was undertaken as part of the 2016/17 intervention plan and propulsion sub-programme strategy.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The purpose of this visit was to carry out an LC 20 (Modification to Design of Plant Under Construction) & LC 22 (Modification or Experiment on Existing Plant) compliance inspection; to confirm shortfalls in the LC 25 and LC 32 arrangements had been resolved, visit Neptune to inform the PRS assessment and attend update meetings.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable.

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

A compliance inspection of LC 20 (Modification to Design of Plant Under Construction) and LC22 (Modification or Experiment on Existing Plant) was carried out. I judged the arrangements and their implementation to be adequate and no formal action was required. At the closing meeting RRMPOL agreed to address three minor findings to improve their arrangements and appropriate actions will be added to the RRMPOL's regulatory commitments tracker. One finding related to improving the LC 20 arrangements for safety significant modifications and I will track the corrective action to completion.

To inform our assessment of the Neptune periodic review of safety four inspectors visited the facility to witness operations and discuss the safety case. The visit did not identify any immediate shortfalls and operations appeared well controlled. The new pre-construction safety report (PCSR) for the Neptune refurbishment was discussed and this information will inform the strategy for the PRS assessment in April 2017.

A Nuclear Liabilities Regulation Specialist Inspector visited the components facility to confirm that shortfalls in the LC 25 (Operational Records) and LC 32 (Accumulation of Radioactive Waste) arrangements found by a previous inspection had been resolved. The ONR team found significant improvements in the management of the component store and judged the shortfalls have been resolved.

I was informed by the licensee of an incident which occurred on 12 September 2016 whereby a number of maintenance stores items, with very low levels of surface contamination, had been inadvertently removed from a controlled area. The licensee stated the levels were just above RRMPOL's threshold for conventional waste. The event itself did not present a safety hazard but RRMPOL has taken the loss of control very seriously and has initiated a formal internal investigation to establish the root cause and take corrective action to help prevent a recurrence. I am content with this action and will in due course review the licensee's investigation report and the adequacy of any corrective actions proposed.

Conclusion of Intervention

No shortfalls or issues were found which adversely affected nuclear safety or were judged to be of such regulatory concern as to require immediate action. A number of areas for improvement were identified during the compliance inspection and these were conveyed to the licensee who committed to address them.