Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned intervention at Oldbury nuclear licensed site

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This inspection of Magnox Ltd's Oldbury nuclear licensed site was undertaken as part of a series of planned interventions during 2013-14.

Interventions carried out by ONR

I attended meetings of the Berkeley and Oldbury site stakeholder groups.

I undertook a system inspection of spent-fuel containment during movement from the pond to dispatch from site. I inspected consignment of nuclear matter and undertook a joint inspection with the Environment Agency of radioactive waste management. I discussed with Oldbury, preparations for the next emergency arrangements demonstration and proposed changes to the emergency arrangements.

Other ONR inspectors undertook inspections of maintenance activities and Oldbury's preparations to bring its maintenance schedule in line with other Magnox Ltd sites that are currently defuelling or decommissioning.

Key findings, Inspector's opinions and reasons for judgements made

The system inspection indicated that Oldbury was adequately implementing the safety case identified limits and conditions for handling fuel safely, and has suitably qualified and experienced staff undertaking the work, appropriate operating instructions, safety mechanisms, devices and circuits, maintenance activities and the ability to detect leakage from the pond. I noted that Oldbury is looking to optimise fuel movements in the pond to reduce radiation doses to workers (which are already low) further. I welcomed this initiative.

I examined nuclear matter consignment arrangements. These satisfied the licence condition requirement in respect of storage of records and were signed by suitably qualified and experienced persons and dated, as required. I discussed with the responsible person the requirements of this licence condition and it appeared that suitable control was being exercised and he had the necessary qualifications to do the work. For these reasons I decided that the licence condition was being met adequately.

Other ONR inspectors considered maintenance arrangements for some radioactive material storage tanks. In respect of one of the tanks inspected Oldbury have been asked to explain if, leaving the tank for some time, before emptying is appropriate.

Oldbury had prepared well for the visit and demonstrated a good control of maintenance on site. The people involved in the discussions were competent and thorough. The sample of three nuclear maintenance items provided evidence that the proposed changes to the maintenance schedule would be an improvement. ONR inspectors found the work instructions were detailed and of a high quality and determined that the arrangements were good for the control of maintenance and control of the process to change to the newer maintenance schedule preface.

Conclusion of intervention

From the evidence gathered during this intervention, I do not believe there are any matters that may adversely impact on nuclear safety. No additional regulatory action is needed over and above my planned interventions, which will continue.

Recommendations

None.