Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Oldbury nuclear licensed site planned 2017-18 inspections and meetings

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This was one of a series of planned inspections at the Oldbury site for 2017/18.  In addition to carrying out compliance inspections staff updated me on progress with their intermediate level waste (ILW) decommissioning programmes.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I examined a representative sample of the arrangements for: marking the site boundary, consignment of nuclear matter from the site, incidents on the site and organisational capability as they apply to nuclear safety related activities on the site. 

A colleague and I assessed the annual level 1 demonstration emergency exercise.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


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

Licence condition (LC) 2 requires Magnox Ltd to make and implement adequate arrangements to prevent unauthorised persons from entering the Oldbury nuclear licensed site.  Magnox Ltd must also mark the boundaries of the site by fences or other means and such fences or other appropriate means used for this purpose shall be properly maintained.  I walked the length of the boundary and confirmed the licence condition was met.

I checked on Oldbury’s administration of the consignment of radioactive waste from the site.  I noted that the Oldbury documentation could be improved to demonstrate more clearly how this licence condition was met.  However, the documentation used for recording consignments of radioactive waste from the site was adequate and could be used without change for intermediate level waste.

I discussed with Oldbury its arrangements for dealing with incidents on the site.  Oldbury told me how they were preparing to introduce the new arrangements for dealing with incident reports.  The change was necessary because the existing system was going to be redundant in the near future.  As for reporting of incidents, Oldbury had a high response rate and many minor incidents were used to raise and apply lessons.  As a consequence, I formed the view that Oldbury was meeting LC 7.  However, I noted that Magnox Ltd appeared to over-complicate its procedures for meeting parts of the licence condition and by doing so making the compliance demonstration more complex than necessary.

I asked about progress with reducing the radioactive hazards on the site. I was told and saw evidence that since my last inspection, Oldbury had made progress in a number of areas, including removing low level waste redundant fuel skips from the pond and making preparations for passivating potentially mobile ILW waste streams across the site.

I noted that I found that it was not straight forward to understand which posts on the site were relevant to undertaking nuclear safety tasks. 

My colleague and I witnessed an adequate demonstrate of Oldbury’s emergency arrangements.      

Conclusion of Intervention

Oldbury adequately met the nuclear site licence conditions that were relevant to current activities being undertaken in the areas I inspected.  Where there were shortfalls the nuclear safety activity covered by the licence condition was either not taking place or the technical shortfall will be easily and quickly rectified.  I raised my findings with the site management before I left the site.  I noted that as I gave up to three months’ notice of the licence conditions I am to inspect against, it did not seem unreasonable that Oldbury should prior to my inspection ensure the documentation demonstrating licence condition compliance was in order.  Alternatively if it was found to require updating, be able to demonstrate that a plan was in place to normalise the situation. I suggested that this check could be undertaken by the Magnox Ltd independent inspector for the site.