Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Oldbury nuclear licensed site emergency exercise inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

During the level 1 emergency demonstration exercise at Oldbury in July 2014, although overall deemed adequate, it was apparent that improvements could be made in two areas, firstly contamination control at the incident scene and secondly interactions between site personnel and the Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team (HART).  This inspection was aimed at judging progress with improvements to these aspects of the emergency arrangements through observing a shift emergency exercise.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

ONR discussed with Site how the site had improved the interface with the ambulance service if there was an incident.  We were informed that since July HART been visited site on a number of occasions, to both learn about the particular hazards present on site, and to advise Oldbury staff on the best forms of first aid to apply to casualties pending the arrival of the ambulance service.  ONR was satisfied that this training should strengthen Site’s response to an incident.

ONR was informed that Site had improved the way it would deal with contamination at the scene of an incident.  This was demonstrated during a shift emergency exercise that ONR witnessed.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

In this instance a safety system inspection was not carried out.

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

Site prepared well for encountering contamination at the incident scene, with good initial assessment of what had happened.  We judged that the methods applied would have ensured that no contamination would have been spread outside of the building. The responders prioritised the casualties appropriately.

There were areas of the exercise where further improvements could be made.  Most of these would be achieved by using a suitably qualified and experienced health physicist as part of the initial entry-team, if available, to provide on-the-spot advice on how to deal with the radiation hazards present.

Site should liaise with Magnox Ltd corporate centre to ensure contamination training is in line with other Magnox Ltd sites to ensure good practice is promulgated across the fleet.

A visit to another site where contaminated areas were more prevalent would assist Site staff to further develop its understanding of ways to respond to a contamination event and contaminated casualty handling.

Conclusion of Intervention

Site demonstrated that they had adequately addressed ONR’s concerns arising from the July 2014 level 1 demonstration exercise by improving the interface between site personnel and the ambulance service and in respect of contamination control should there be an incident on the Site. There were however some areas for further improvement.