Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Witnessing off-site testing of equipment for emptying Berkeley intermediate level waste ILW vaults

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

As Berkeley prepares to retrieve intermediate level waste (ILW) from its vaults for characterisation, treatment and packaging for long-term storage it is designing and installing the plant and equipment to undertake the work safely. This inspection was undertaken in pursuit of the ONR IIS plan for 2014/15 to provide confidence that the suppliers are providing equipment of the requisite quality. In this case an inspection was carried out at Qualter Hall (QH) in Barnsley.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I witnessed equipment being tested at QH prior to shipping to Berkeley

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not part of this inspection.

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

Most of the equipment had been used successfully in similar circumstances over a number of years and should be easy to maintain. QH had tried to ensure that the operating system was simple to use. I noted that the equipment was designed with shipping and site installation and operation in mind. I was assured that QH would be available to set the equipment to work and train Berkeley staff. Berkeley health physics staff had been involved in the design and consideration of decontamination of the equipment. In addition, QH and site staff had considered in the design and setting to work phases, the need for on-going maintenance of the equipment.

Conclusion of Intervention

The testing of the equipment that I observed and which formed part of the inactive commissioning at the manufacture's works was deemed to be adequate.