Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Discussion on Radioactive Waste Management Plans for the Site

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

Originally the intervention was to attend the Berkeley off-site emergency planning meeting. However this meeting was postponed at the last minute due to the unavailability of key members of the committee. I had included in the intervention an update on waste management matters and this part of the intervention went ahead as planned.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I discussed waste management topics with Berkeley to get a better understanding of potential regulatory issues that may arise in the near future.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable.

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

I confirmed with Berkeley that they believed the safety case for the ductile cast iron containers (DCICs) was consistent with the lifetime of the interim storage facility in which they will be stored until there is a disposal route for the waste.

While progress appears to be being made with acceptance of the DCIC for final disposal there is still the potential to interrupt the continuous conditioning of intermediate level radioactive waste after the facilities have been commissioned.

I suggested to Berkeley that they should make a safety case for conditioning wastes currently stored in the cave-line by taking it through the vault route if this was their preferred option.

Conclusion of Intervention

Discussions with Berkeley demonstrated to me that the site is thinking ahead about the regulatory process they need to meet to manage their intermediate level radioactive waste safely and effectively.