Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned intervention at Springfields Fuel Limited

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

Planned intervention, to participate in the quarterly regulatory review meeting, I also reviewed the site issues on the ONR Issues Database. This intervention formed part of the 2016/2017 Intervention Programme for the Springfields Fuels Limited site.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I participated in the quarterly regulatory review meeting, primarily to review the implementation of licence condition 35 arrangements for site decommissioning projects. At this meeting, I also reviewed the licensee's progress with the two site 'issues' on the ONR Issues Database, closing one of these 'issues' and raising one new 'issue'.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not judged to be Adequate

As no safety system inspection was undertaken, this was not applicable to this intervention.

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

A range of topics of regulatory interest were discussed at the quarterly regulatory liaison meeting, with an overall adequate outcome. Some progress was reported with the site decommissioning projects, although the funding of some building demolition work had recently been withdrawn by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, (NDA), resulting in a delay to the decommissioning of some redundant facilities. The hazard reduction arising from the processing of legacy uranium bearing materials was currently being maintained, although the ongoing funding for the continuation of this work was also under pressure. An ONR regulatory issue was raised to engage more fully with both NDA and the licensee regarding the reduced funding of decommissioning and legacy uranic residue processing at the site.

The licensee's progress in addressing the two decommissioning issues (on the ONR Issues Database) for the Springfields site was reviewed, with an acceptable outcome. One issue, relating to the emptying of some old transport cylinders, was closed. One new issue was raised, regarding the funding of site decommissioning projects. Acceptable progress was reported by the licensee on the other issue, relating to the investigation of some historic minor ground contamination.

Conclusions of Intervention

At the quarterly regulatory review meeting, I noted the licensee's reported progress with the delivery of a range of site decommissioning and legacy uranic residue processing and hazard reduction projects. It was disappointing to learn of the recent reduction in NDA finding, which was delaying the completion of a decommissioning project. The topic of NDA funding for site decommissioning will be followed up at a planned intervention within the next two months. I therefore concluded that in the light of the limited decommissioning shortfalls reported by the licensee, an inspection rating for licence condition 35, decommissioning, of green, adequate, was warranted for this intervention. ONR will intervene further with both NDA and the licensee regarding the funding of site hazard reduction projects.

In view of the licensee's progress with addressing the two issues on the ONR Issues Database, resulting in one issue being closed and one issue being raised, I concluded that an intervention rating of green, adequate, was warranted for this aspect of this intervention.