Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Intervention, inspections and discussion at Springfields Fuels Limited

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

A planned and reactive compliance intervention, over two days, by the nominated site inspector and a specialist inspector, conducted as part of the 2014/15 ONR intervention plan for the Springfields Fuels Limited site.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

A reactive inspection by a specialist inspector of the licensee’s assurance process, an aspect of the licensee’s ‘leadership & management for safety’.  Planned intervention to inspect the arrangements for compliance with licence condition 36 and LC 12, followed by aspects of their implementation at both the Oxide Fuels Complex and within the EHS&Q function.  Planned inspection of revised licence condition 3 compliance arrangements.  Reactive discussion on Fukushima Report recommendation FR-6.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable.

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

A planned inspection was conducted, by a specialist inspector, of the licensee’s recently revised arrangements for compliance with licence condition 36, during a meeting with the Assurance Manager.  It was encouragingly concluded that the licensee’s new management of organisational change process aligned well with the Safety Director’s Forum Nuclear Industry Code of Practice, (NICoP) issue 2, which was supported by ONR.

A reactive inspection was made by a specialist inspector, of the licensee’s assurance arrangements, an aspect of the licensee’s ‘leadership & management for safety, LMfS’.

I was supported by a specialist inspector at a planned inspection of the implementation of the licensee’s licence condition 36 and LC 12 arrangements relating to some organisational changes in progress at the Oxide Fuels Complex and planned within the EHS&Q function.  The implementation was inspected at two areas.  The first related to the transfer of about twenty five personnel into the Oxide Fuels Complex, (OFC) Mech 1 area.    A constructive meeting was held with the Head of Oxide, the Plant Manager and the Deputy Plant Manager, before inspecting the plant and speaking with a range of plant personnel.  The second organisational change related to the proposed transfer, in October, on secondment out of the licensee’s organisation, of the Head of Nuclear & Environmental Services.  A discussion was held with the post holder to clarify aspects of the safety documentation.

At the request of the licensee, a meeting was held to discuss the licensee’s response to Fukushima Report Recommendation FR-6.  The licensee raised a query regarding this recommendation on which I agreed to obtain timely specialist advice.

An inspection was made of the readiness of the licensee to implement revised licence condition 3 arrangements.  The licensee’s arrangements were found to be ready for implementation of a varied licence on 1 October 2014.

Conclusions of Intervention

I concluded that the licensee’s new management of organisational change arrangements were of an acceptable standard, the licensee having recognised where improvements could be made and was now in the process of revising the arrangements.  An inspection rating of “3”, adequate, was warranted for this intervention. 

Overall, it was concluded that there was a generally well developed assurance process, incorporating an appropriate hierarchy of internal checking, including twice yearly compliance reviews, as well as appropriate business process reviews, both of which included a review of aspects of licence compliance arrangements.  An inspection rating of “3”, adequate, was considered appropriate.

The licensee’s arrangements for the appointment of new Duly Authorised Persons (DAPs) were considered to be adequate, hence an inspection rating of “3”.  Although the revised management of organisational change arrangements were found to be adequate, and an improvement over the existing arrangements, these arrangements had not yet been implemented, (being due in November 2014).  As the arrangements were yet to be implemented, an inspection rating of “4” was considered appropriate on this occasion. 

I concluded that no inspection rating was warranted for the reactive discussion with the licensee regarding Fukushima Recommendation FR-6.

I concluded that the licensee’s revised arrangements for compliance with licence condition 3 were of an exemplary standard and warranted an inspection rating of 1, ‘exemplary’.  The licensee had made excellent arrangements for the timely implementation of these revised arrangements, to coincide with the implementation of the varied site licence on 1 October 2014.