Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Springfields Site Inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

Two planned joint interventions, with the Environment Agency, were conducted at Springfields. The first related to the proposed significant organisational changes stemming from the impending closure of the uranium hexafluoride production business at the end of August 2014, 'Project Hermes'. The second joint intervention was to inspect the licensee's response to recent regulatory assessments of the licensee's management arrangements, including aspects of 'leadership and management for safety' parameters.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

A joint inspection (with the Environment Agency) of the implementation of the licensee's organisational capability arrangements relating to Project Hermes, (the reduction of the site workforce arising from the cessation of uranium hexafluoride production in 2014), with an acceptable outcome.

A joint inspection of the licensee's response to the separate ONR and Environment Agency regulator's recent assessments of LMfS and management arrangements. The licensee's responses were assessed as adequate.

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

ONR has assessed the overarching category 'B' licence condition 36 organisational capability safety justification, relating to 'Project Hermes' I discussed a range of aspects of this project of the proposed site wide voluntary severance programme at this meeting. Overall, I am content that this provides an adequate framework for the management of the closure of the uranium hexafluoride production business at the end of August 2014. A significant reduction will be made to the site workforce, with extensive redeployment of staff to new posts across the site, which is planned to be implemented before the end of the financial year. The consequent organisational changes shall be assessed during forthcoming routine site inspections.

A joint inspection was also made to assess the licensee's responses to recent regulatory assessments of the licensee's management arrangements, including aspects of leadership and management for safety.

For the licensee's development and implementation of organisational capability arrangements, I had previously concluded that departmental and functional 'baseline' documentation was only reaching a sufficient degree of maturity by around the end of 2013. The licensee confirmed that all 'baseline' safety documents were now complete, although there remained some further supporting vulnerability analysis to be done. Regarding the demonstration of independent internal challenge arrangements, the licensee fulfilled this requirement in a separate manner to most other licensees. The licensee formed a holistic view based on the evidence of a broad range of internal and external audits and inspections.

Conclusion of Intervention

On balance, I concluded that the licensee's implementation of organisational capability arrangements and improvements to 'leadership and management for safety' parameters was adequate.