Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Capenhurst TMF Project - Masonry Wall Failure Follow Up Enquiries.

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This was an unplanned inspection carried out as part of ONR's response to an incident involving the unintended collapse of a wall in the Tails Management Facility (TMF) at the Capenhurst licensed nuclear site.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The by-product of uranium enrichment is depleted uranium hexafluoride, known as tails. A new facility, the Tails Management Facility (TMF), is being constructed at Capenhurst to convert tails to an oxide of uranium, a more stable chemical form suitable for long-term storage.

The licensee for the Capenhurst site is Urenco UK Ltd. The TMF is being constructed by, and will be operated by, Urenco ChemPlants Ltd (UCP), a tenant on the Capenhurst site.

This inspection was carried out to inform a decision as to whether ONR should pursue further investigations into the licensee's and tenant's part in the design and construction aspects of the masonry walls within the TMF.

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

From the evidence seen during the inspection I am of the opinion that the licensee and the tenant have taken all reasonably practicable steps to meet their legal obligations as duty holders in the design, procurement, and oversight of the construction of the masonry walls in the TMF.

Furthermore I am satisfied that they have adequately investigated the circumstances surrounding this event and have identified the causes.

They have also put in place the necessary measures to carry out further inspection into the TMF civil structure. Satisfactory completion of this inspection work and any remedial action will be inserted into the project hold point control plan as a new control measure.

Conclusion of Intervention

My conclusion from the findings of the inspection is that ONR should not pursue any further investigation into this event. However, ONR will monitor the progress of the licensee's and tenant's further inspection and their adoption of regulatory advice giving during the inspection.