This inspection, undertaken at Dungeness A licensed nuclear site, from 15th to 17th August 2017, was one of a programme of planned inspections for 2017-2018 to judge compliance with arrangements made under Licence Conditions and other statutes.
During this inspection, we assessed the adequacy of the arrangements for the site’s compliance with Licence Condition 22: Modification or experiment on existing plant.
Whilst on site a general site walk-down was undertaken with the safety representatives and a walk-down with an ONR specialist inspector and graduate apprentice was undertaken to inspect the material condition of structures and systems in the annexes and boiler cell areas within the reactor building.
Based on our inspection the arrangements for modification and experiment on existing plant are deemed adequate. We confirmed that they are being implemented appropriately in relation to the decommissioning projects.
The siting of the facility on the shingle beach at Romney Marsh exposes it to a harsh environment with respect to degradation of structures, systems and components. Examples of accelerated rates of corrosion exist within the boiler annexes, boiler cells, gas circulator halls and boiler drum houses. The opinion of the ONR specialist assessor was that Magnox Ltd need to undertake a specific asset degradation assessment of these areas to inform a suitable strategy for the site during any extended period of care and maintenance.
There is a need to undertake a strategic review of waste handling on the site to ensure that adequate arrangements are in place for the implementation of the decommissioning project work and the dismantling of any structures.
It is proposed that the site moves to “office-hours” based working arrangements and ceases 24hr shift working. This has been adopted elsewhere within Magnox Ltd and the basic arrangements are suitable. In the case of Dungeness A some attention will need to be given to the specific arrangements for extra-hours working as there is likely to be a high proportion of this during the completion of the decommissioning projects and dismantling.
Welfare and hygiene arrangements within the RCA have deteriorated due to an issue with the water treatment systems. Although temporary measures have been implemented these are do not appear suitable for longer-term use. Site management is aware of this matter and is working to improve the situation.
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 Condition 22 to be adequate.
Regulatory issues already exist with regard to the corrosion and waste handling issues, no new issues were raised as a result of this inspection.