Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Dounreay - System Based Inspection (SBI) of the nuclear fire protection systems within the FCA

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This visit was to undertake a planned System Based Inspection (SBI) at the Dounreay Site in accordance with the 2017/18 inspection plan to confirm that the licensee is controlling its hazards and complying with its statutory obligations.

The SBI targeted the nuclear fire safety/protection systems (fire detection, alarm) within interconnected buildings D1203, D1206, D1209, D2580 and D2670 within the Fuel Cycle Area (FCA) of the DSRL site, to confirm the adequacy of implementation of the licensee's safety case in respect of these systems.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The SBI covered the requirements of the following Licence Conditions:

The SBI within the FCA comprised discussions with DSRL staff, plant walk-downs and reviews of plant records and other documentation. I was supported in this inspection by the Dounreay Site Inspectors.

We also took the opportunity to conduct an inspection of the Sodium Inventory Disposal plant within PFR against the requirements of LC26 [Control and supervision of operations].

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

The fire protection systems were judged to be adequate.

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

From the evidence examined during this inspection, I consider that DSRL has adequately implemented those claims within the facility safety case that we examined, relating to the fire protection systems.

We reviewed evidence of adequate training against various procedural claims and engineering system functions, including the effective operation and maintenance of fire detection and alarm systems.

Additionally, we examined a sample of maintenance activities for the fire protection systems and consider that they provided adequate evidence of asset maintenance and inspection.

Throughout the SBI, we found all the Authority to Operate (ATO) holders and other staff to be knowledgeable, experienced and demonstrating a positive safety culture.

During the visit to the Sodium Inventory Disposal (SID) plant the lead supervisor for the plant demonstrated a good understanding of the principles underpinning the SID process with a good knowledge of the limits and conditions that apply to the safe operation of the plant. He was also able to provide examples of improvements to the SID process identified by the operators to increase throughput with no impact on safe operation.

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence sampled during this inspection, I judge that the licensee has implemented adequately its arrangements in the areas inspected. No shortfalls were identified that may adversely affect nuclear safety.