Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Intervention at Springfields Fuels Limited

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

I participated in the quarterly regulator liaison meeting between the licensee and the regulators, as part of the ONR inspection plan for Springfields Fuels Limited. I also responded to the licensee's recent query relating to the licensee's earlier response to Fukushima Report Recommendation FR-6.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

At the constructive regulator liaison meeting, I jointly reviewed the licensee's progress across a range of legacy uranic residue processing, waste disposal and decommissioning projects, recent organisational changes and discussed future uranic residue processing projects.

I provided regulatory advice to the licensee, in response to the licensee's recent query, relating to the licensee's previous written response to 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

The licensee reported continuing acceptable progress with the processing of a broad range of legacy and operational uranic residues and authorised radioactive waste disposals, reducing the nuclear hazard on the site.

The licensee reported the safe shutdown of the uranium hexafluoride production facilities at the end of August and the majority of the radioactive materials had already been removed from the 'Hex' plant. Much of the plant workforce had now been redeployed for training elsewhere on the site, enabling the phased release of staff from other parts of the site, at the end of December 2014 and March 2015, after completion of staff training and handovers. Organisational capability arrangements were also being implemented in relation to a number of other senior management changes, including the secondment of some licensee's staff to other Westinghouse group companies.

Some potential future uranic residue processing projects were discussed, including the potential processing of reprocessed uranium residues, which were agreed to be feasible in principle, subject to the provision of adequate nuclear safety cases and related justifications, closer to the time.

I provided regulatory advice on aspects of the licensee's previous written response to Fukushima Report Recommendation FR-6, advising the licensee to coordinate with the Capenhurst licensee and to participate in a future meeting between ONR and a range of licensees.

Conclusion of Intervention

I concluded that the licensee's reported progress with the processing of uranic residues and decommissioning projects was acceptable. The licensee was found to be duly applying organisational capability arrangements to the broad range of organisational changes being currently implemented across the site.