Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Dungeness A - Radioactive waste inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This inspection undertaken at Dungeness A licensed nuclear site on 12-13th April 2017 was one of a programme of planned inspections for 2017-2018, to judge compliance with arrangements made under Licence Conditions 4, 21, 22, 32, 33, and 34.

Interventions carried out by ONR

During this inspection, we assessed the suitability of the arrangements for the site’s compliance with Licence Conditions 4: Restrictions on nuclear matter on the site, 21: Commissioning, 22: Modification or experiment on existing plant, 32: Accumulation of radioactive waste, 33: Disposal of radioactive waste and 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.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


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

Licence Condition 4, 32, 33, 34 - Based on our inspection the radioactive waste on site is currently being stored safely in appropriate storage locations, consistent with extant safety cases and arrangements. There are adequate records on the waste inventory on site. There is evidence of accumulation of waste which is challenging storage capacity and introducing a risk that as future projects commence, such as the demolition of the boiler annexes, there may be insufficient provision of waste storage and processing routes, given the volume and nature of the waste arising. We judge that this is not of immediate safety significance, but arrangements should be put in place to ensure that future waste arisings can be managed appropriately.

Licence Condition 21 and 22 - Based on our sampling, the arrangements for commissioning and making modifications to plant are appropriate. We confirmed that they are being implemented appropriately in relation to the commissioning of AVDS. Therefore, compliance with LC21 and 22 is considered adequate (green).

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence gathered during this intervention, I concluded that there are no matters of immediate nuclear safety concern. I consider the licensee’s compliance with Licence Conditions 4, 21, 22, 33 and 34 to be adequate.

However, I noted challenges regarding the storage and processing of future arisings of radioactive waste and highlighted this as an issue that needs to be addressed by site.

I also highlighted that continual water ingress into the reactor voids could potentially lead to accelerated corrosion during the period of care and maintenance, if it was not properly managed. Site noted my concerns and we will continue to monitor the response to this matter.