Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Heysham 1 - Ionising Radiation Regulations

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) is undertaking a series of Control of Occupational Radiation Exposure (CORE) interventions across all of the nuclear licensed sites in the UK with the following objectives:

Regulation 8 of IRR99 is concerned with the restriction of exposure to ionising radiations. It requires radiation employers to restrict, So Far As Is Reasonably Practicable (SFAIRP), the exposure of employees and other persons to ionising radiation. The main aim of the Regulations and the supporting Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) is to establish a framework for ensuring that exposure to ionising radiation arising from work activities is kept As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) and does not exceed dose limits specified for individuals.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

For this intervention at the EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited (NGL) Heysham 1 Power Station a consistent approach was adopted that is to be used for all CORE interventions across the industry.

The intervention was segregated into two elements: the first element to assess the general arrangements for restricting worker exposures under regulation 8 and the second element to involve the inspection of a specific work area or activity in order to ensure that the arrangements are being implemented at the point of work.

A standard questionnaire (which is to be used for all CORE interventions) was issued to NGL in advance of the site inspection. They completed the questionnaire and we discussed their responses during the first part of the inspection so that I could form a view on the adequacy of the arrangements. The site inspection was then undertaken to determine whether NGL's arrangements were being effectively implemented at the point of work.

I rated each aspect of the licensee's arrangements that were inspected during the CORE intervention using the ONR Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) rating system. These ratings are provided in the Annex of the report. An overall rating was also allocated.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

No safety system inspection was undertaken, hence this is not applicable.

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

The licensee provided evidence that it is compliant with Regulation 8 of the Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999 to reduce operational exposure to As Low As is Reasonably Practical, hence the overall rating of adequate.

The licensee had adequate arrangements in place with regard to dose targets and investigation, the trending and analysis of worker doses, the reporting and reviewing of radiological events, and benchmarking. Additionally, I noted that the arrangements for providing information, instruction and training to radiation workers were to a good standard.

I made several observations that were communicated to NGL for consideration, including the review of the arrangements for conducting ALARP committees so that they are effective and scheduled appropriately. I also raised one issue on the licensee to implement a system for recording the classification of new temporary contamination areas and ensuring that the radiological protection arrangements for these areas comply with Regulations 18 and 19 of IRR99.

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence gathered during this intervention, I do not believe there are any matters that currently impact on nuclear safety. I am of the opinion that the licensee has demonstrated adequate compliance with Regulation 8 of IRR99, and consequently I have allocated an overall rating of 3 (adequate) for this intervention in accordance with the IIS.