In line with the 2014/15 inspection plan for Dounreay I carried out planned inspections and other interventions to provide confidence that Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd. (DSRL) is controlling its hazards properly and complying with its statutory obligations.
I inspected the means by which a contractor assures itself that its staff are suitably qualified and experienced for the roles they undertake. I participated in a fuel strategy meeting of Euratom inspectors with DSRL, NDA and ONR Safeguards staff, to consider any potential areas of conflict between nuclear safety and safeguards regulatory requirements in respect of the UFCF (unirradiated fuel characterisation facility). I participated in a meeting of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group (DSG). I participated in a number of update meetings.
Overall the contractor was considered to have adequate systems in place for demonstrating that its staff are suitably qualified and experienced for the roles they undertake.
There appeared to be no potential areas of conflict between UFCF nuclear safety and safeguards regulatory requirements, because Euratom's verification requirements are a subset of the requirements to meet the Sellafield Conditions for Acceptance.
At the DSG meeting the key theme was that of low morale at Dounreay, which was attributed to funding uncertainties. DSRL added that there appeared to be correlation between the reduction in focus across the site and the number of relatively minor non-compliances across the site recently. There is consistency here with the findings of ONR's recent inspections.
The intervention did not identify any matter impacting on nuclear safety that required immediate regulatory action.