Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Dounreay - Site visit

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

In line with the 2014/15 inspection plan for Dounreay I carried out inspections and other interventions to provide confidence that Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd. (DSRL) is controlling its hazards properly and complying with its statutory obligations.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I participated in a planned intervention on Leadership and Management for Safety (L&MfS) which was led by an ONR Specialist Inspector. I followed up a reported incident (INF1 2014/373) where isolation of an air pressure receiver for planned maintenance caused an unplanned shutdown of the active laboratories glovebox ventilation extract fans. The fans and associated dampers are designated as Key Safety Related Equipment under DSRL arrangements.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


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

The structure of the L&MfS intervention was to interact with DSRL peer groups including Directors, Leadership Team, ATO Holders, Safety Representatives, Line Managers, Supervisors and Operators. At all levels within DSRL the participants responded positively to the intervention and there was open and frank discussion. The key findings provided at the hot feedback identified evidence of a committed workforce who take safety seriously, a perceived disunity of leadership and lack of strategic direction reinforced by the PBO structure, and strong concerns about organisational resilience. Our expectation is that through dialogue, within DSRL's developing plans to achieve Decommissioning Excellence there will be commitments to address our findings and ensure that there is a clear and consistent strategy to maintain satisfactory standards of nuclear safety and progress achievement of decommissioning milestones.

My follow-up of INF1 2014/373 raised potential concerns. The work appeared to be undertaken without the nuclear safety implications of the task being recognised by personnel involved and without appropriate task specific safety documents being in place. The investigation had not been completed. I expect that the actions identified in response to the incident will seek to determine whether this is an isolated event or that there are underlying weaknesses in the process, or its implementation, for the identification of the nuclear safety implications of plant. I will consider the comprehensiveness of the findings and recommendations in determining any regulatory action.

Conclusion of Intervention

The intervention did not identify any matter impacting on nuclear safety that required immediate regulatory action.