Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) Site Inspection Visit

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report covers a number of interventions with the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) relating to LLWR operations, which were undertaken as part of the planned ONR LLWR inspection programme for 2014/15

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The interventions undertaken included:

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable

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

Site Licence Condition 14/15 Inspection - Safety documentation/Periodic review - The LLWR arrangements for the periodic review of safety cases relating to Plutonium Contaminated Material (PCM) operations on the LLWR site were reviewed and discussed. The PCM safety documentation relates to a number of facilities on the LLW which are currently undergoing Post Operations Clear Out (POCO) operations. LLWR outlined that over the years the safety documentation covering the various decommissioning projects had become "extensive and complex". LLWR has concluded that the current situation is not sustainable and appropriate for the future decommissioning operations. The ONR Site Inspector concurred with the LLWR conclusion. LLWR outlined their proposals to rationalise the current safety documentation, their proposal for future periodic review and details of the future safety documentation strategy and programme. The ONR Site Inspector concluded that, generally, LLWR had adequate proposals for the future production of safety documentation for future PCM operations on the site.

PCM Operations Update - An update on various aspects of LLWR PCM operations was obtained from the LLWR PCM Operations Project Manager. Topics discussed included the progress on the Magazine decommissioning project work, the funding and resources availability for the future PCM programme, the ONR assessment of the submitted safety case for the LLWR PCM Drum Storage Facility operations and the ongoing problems with the PCM drum transport containers. LLWR stated that the ongoing problems with the transport containers could significantly delay the LLWR PCM Project work. LLWR agreed to keep ONR fully informed of the review of options for the storage of additional drums. LLWR are currently planning not to restrain/curtail decommissioning work.

Emergency Arrangements Discussions - A meeting was held with the LLWR Emergency Arrangements team to discuss various aspects of the LLWR Site Emergency Arrangements including the LLWR Emergency Exercise Programme, the LLWR Emergency Arrangements Improvement Plan and the draft scenario for the upcoming LLWR Level 1 Demonstration Emergency Exercise. Overall the discussions provided a useful basis for a number of aspects of the LLWR emergency arrangements to be discussed and progressed. LLWR agreed to review a number of matters to address queries raised and to provide the requested documentation.

West Cumbria Sites Stakeholders Group (WCSSG) LLWR Sub Group Meeting - The latest meeting of the WCSSG LLWR Sub Group meeting, held at Drigg Parish Hall, was attended. Presentations at the meeting included an update on the LLWR planning application covering a number of LLWR proposals, the LLWR Director report on recent and future LLWR operations, the Environment Agency Period Report, the ONR Period Report, an update on the Community Benefit Package Negotiations and a presentation on the LLWR Procurement Processes. The ONR Site Inspector outlined that the main ONR focus during the next period would be to pursue, with LLWR, the options for dealing with the problems created by the unavailability of containers to transport PCM drums. The WCSSG did not raise any significant queries on the ONR report other than some points of clarification on the proposed ONR interventions on the PCM drum transport difficulties.

Conclusion of Intervention

Other than the items outlined in the previous section no other matters were raised during the interventions covered by this report which were considered to require any immediate additional regulatory action.