Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Berkeley nuclear licensed site planned 2017-18 inspections and meetings

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This intervention was undertaken to provide an update on progress with Site’s intermediate level waste (ILW) decommissioning programmes and to inspect Site’s arrangements in accordance with the 2017/18 inspection plan.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I inspected arrangements for marking the site boundary (LC2), restrictions on nuclear matter on the site (LC4), incidents on the site (LC7) and organisational capability (LC35). 

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable.

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

Berkeley plans to receive and store some intermediate level waste (ILW) that is currently stored at Oldbury.  Aspects of Berkeley’s current arrangements did not meet the requirements in the licence condition, however the anomalies were not significant and at present no ILW is due to be transferred from Oldbury for several years.  I suggested to the Site Closure Director that he considered making the necessary arrangements to meet the licence condition well in advance of the planned ILW moves.  We noted that planning permission would also be required before Berkeley imported any ILW from Oldbury.

I reviewed recent incidents on the site and noted no significant incidents had occurred.  I examined the improvements that had been made to the standard procedure for categorising, notifying and analysing incident relates information. It was my view that the arrangements complied with the requirements of LC 7.

I saw evidence of progress in handling ILW radioactive waste since my last inspection, Berkeley had formulated a coherent strategy that makes best use of ductile cast iron containers (DCICs) and concrete boxes (CBs) for storing waste in a passive form.  Berkeley has also nearly completed commissioning, and training the staff in the use of, the equipment moving the ILW contained in Vault No 2 into a passively safe form.  35 DCICs have been successfully filled with fuel element debris from Vault No 2 during the commissioning phase.        

I asked Berkeley to ensure licence condition arrangements accurately reflect the way activities were being managed on the site.  In particular, I wanted to see a link between the programme staff and the site management and clarity in how nuclear safety was being managed and where responsibilities for nuclear safety lay.  The site management agreed to look into this.  I believe that the site and programmes were working well together, but this way of working was not reflected in the arrangements. 

Conclusion of Intervention

Berkeley adequately met the requirements of the site licence conditions inspected, with some minor areas for improvement identified.