The incoming and outgoing Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) inspectors for Sizewell A attended site for a handover and series of compliance inspections as part of ONR’s integrated intervention strategy for Sizewell A.
The ONR inspectors inspected the licensee’s implementation of its arrangements for compliance with licence condition (LC) 32 (accumulation of radioactive waste), 33 (disposal of radioactive waste), 34 (leakage and escape of radioactive material and radioactive waste), and 35 (decommissioning).
Overall the inspectors considered compliance with LC 32, 33, 34 and 35 to be adequate in the areas inspected, on the following bases:
Waste is stored in appropriate conditions, and the waste inventory is tracked effectively. The licensee’s arrangements require minimisation of waste; at a project level, waste minimisation is driven by engagement with the waste team via the project waste management plan (PWMP). No significant backlog of accumulated waste was observed during the inspection.
The licensee has adequate arrangements in place for responding to directions from ONR. Although ONR has not issued a direction since cessation of generation, I was satisfied that the licensee is able to respond appropriately should one be issued.
All tanks capable of leakage which were sampled have some form of secondary containment provision (the ponds sub-basement corridors). The tanks themselves have level indication and associated low level alarms (with the exception of the final active waste tanks, which only have indication), and the ponds sub-basement corridor sumps have high level alarms. I was satisfied that any leakage would be detected, and the licensee adequately described the response to a number of leakage scenarios when asked.
I was satisfied that the arrangements presented for Decommissioning meet ONR's expectations for LC35. The licensee presented a consistent process and supporting strategies and plans to those seen on other Magnox sites, which demonstrated consistency of implementation of these arrangements.
From the evidence gathered during this intervention I judged the licensee’s compliance LC 32, 33, 34 and 35 to be adequate. No matters were identified which may impact significantly on nuclear safety, and no issues or actions were raised which require further follow up by ONR.