Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Sizewell A radioactive waste inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report covers an inspection of Magnox Ltd.'s Sizewell A nuclear licensed site on 6th to 8th December 2016. This inspection was conducted as a joint inspection with EA as part of a programme of planned interventions as outlined in the Sizewell A Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) for 2016/17 to judge compliance with Licence Conditions 4, 32, 33 and 34 of the nuclear site licence.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

During this intervention, we assessed the suitability of the arrangements for the site's compliance with Licence Condition 4: Restrictions on nuclear matter on the site, Licence Condition 32: Accumulation of Radioactive Waste, Licence Condition 33: Disposal of Radioactive Waste and Licence Condition 34 Leakage and escape of radioactive material and radioactive waste. This inspection was undertaken as part of the continuing programme of decommissioning aimed at the site entering care and maintenance operational status.

The intervention was carried out against the arrangements and their implementation of LC's 4, 32, 33 and 34 and ONR's published inspection guidance for these Licence Conditions.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

This intervention did not include an inspection of a safety system.

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

Licence Condition 4 - Based on our sample, we considered that the arrangements for the management of radioactive waste at Sizewell A provide for its safe storage in suitable storage locations. We were satisfied that the extant post-defueling safety case (2015/421084) appropriately covers these storage arrangements. It is noted that future retrieval, conditioning and packaging work will require the development of underpinning safety cases and other documentation.

Adequate records for all the wastes are available, although we noted that the current use of a number of separate IT systems to store all the information may become more cumbersome and error-prone as retrieval work progresses. Therefore we considered that a rating of adequate (green) was appropriate.

Licence Conditions 32, 33 and 34. - Based on our sample, the radioactive waste on site is currently being stored safely in unconditioned, but quiescent condition, in appropriate storage locations, consistent with the extant baseline safety case. Routes for interim storage through to eventual disposal can be made available via endorsed RWM final Letter of Compliance (fLoC) compliant processes based on those already approved and in use at other sites. There are adequate records on the waste inventory on site and waste generation is limited to low levels associated with routine operational arisings. The arrangements for managing the waste in storage were found to be adequate. Therefore, compliance with LC32, 33 and 34 is considered adequate (green).

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence gathered during this intervention, I concluded that there are no matters of nuclear safety concern. I have therefore rated the licensee's compliance with Licence Conditions 4, 32, 33 and 34 to be adequate (green).