Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) Systems Based Inspection on S4.4 and compliance inspections covering Licence Condition 7, 32 and 35

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This intervention was carried out as part of ONR’s routine regulation of operations undertaken at the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR).

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

Three planned Licence Condition (LC) Compliance Inspections were carried out against LC7 (Incidents on the site), LC32 (Accumulation of radioactive waste) and LC35 (Decommissioning). One Systems Based Inspection relating to nuclear lifting and handling e.g. cranes and hoists was also undertaken.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A.

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

I observed that LLWR do not use feedback from their own operational experience for feedback to the workforce. They currently use external events. Whilst this is still of benefit this may impact upon the willingness of personnel to raise events if their efforts do not appear to have been of value. Feedback of site Events will show that the efforts of personnel are recognised.  LLWR should consider incorporating their own operational experience into operational experience feedback given to employees in addition to learning from external sources.

LLWR do not currently routinely raise INF1s for blue-light events on-site. Blue-light responses are likely to attract public interest and therefore ONR need to be able to respond appropriately to public requests for information. The INF1 is a tool that informs ONR of on-site matters and as such under the appropriate ONR category an INF1 would prove useful.

I advised LLWR that if a mis-consignment Event is considered as requiring an INF1 by LLWR then LLWR also need to raise an INF1 in addition to that raised by the consigning site. This will ensure that an appropriate report is received by ONR that can be followed up. There is currently the potential for an assumption by consignor and LLWR that the other site will raise the INF1 with the result that none is raised.

LLWR appear to be making good progress against their decommissioning plan.

Conclusion of Intervention

During my inspections at LLWR I did not identify any safety significant matters requiring formal action from the Licensee. In the areas inspected I judged the Site’s arrangements to be adequate.