Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Reactive site inspection following a recent minor event and a meeting to discuss a forthcoming observed exercise

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

A reactive intervention was made, in response to a minor event on the site on 23 April 2014, jointly with the Environment Agency site inspector.

A planned meeting was held with the licensee, to finalise the scope of a forthcoming exercise, to be observed by ONR.

I represented ONR at the planned meeting of the Springfields Site Stakeholder Group, held near the site.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

A reactive intervention was conducted into the licensee's minor event of 23 April 2014, when a small weepage of the uranium hexafluoride contents had occurred, during the external storage of some aging legacy uranium hexafluoride containers.

A constructive meeting was held, to finalise the scope of a forthcoming planned exercise, which is to be observed by a team of ONR inspectors.

I participated in the planned meeting of the Springfields Site Stakeholder Group, answering some minor queries, primarily on my last two quarterly reports to the Group.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable on this occasion.

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

For the reactive intervention in response to the licensee's recent minor event, on investigating this event, I considered that the licensee's response had been entirely appropriate. The licensee had implemented a response with the correct combination of urgency, to address the two "weeping" cylinders, whilst also having taken appropriate safety measures to secure the cylinders and transfer them to a ventilated, monitored facility inside a building, in an appropriately safety assessed and controlled manner.

Discussions were held on the detailed arrangements for, and scope of, the forthcoming 'on site' exercise, to be observed by a team of ONR inspectors. The finalised exercise "control document" was broadly fit for purpose, the licensee having incorporated much of the prior regulatory advice, on the emergency arrangements aspects of the observed exercise.

The planned Springfields Site Stakeholder Group meeting was held, near to the site. I responded to a few queries from the members, on my two recent quarterly reports to the Stakeholder Group, with a satisfactory outcome. The independent Chair of the Group conducted the meeting in the usual efficient and open manner.

Conclusion of Intervention

For my intervention in response to the recent minor event at the site, I concluded that an inspection rating of "2", good, was warranted. The licensee had responded safely, promptly and effectively to the weepage of uranic material from the two legacy type 0007 "doughnut" uranium hexafluoride cylinders. The two affected cylinders had been safely and promptly transferred to ventilated cells, within a cylinder emptying facility.

For my discussion regarding the scope of a planned forthcoming exercise, to be observed by ONR, I concluded that no inspection rating was warranted, given the brevity of this meeting.

The Springfields Site Stakeholder Group meeting was conducted in the usual constructive, open manner, enabling the participants to question both the licensee and the regulators, regarding matters on the Springfields licensed site. An IIS rating of "2", good was considered appropriate, for both this meeting and the engagement with the Environment Agency, (at this meeting and the joint site inspection earlier in the day).