Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned system intervention, inspecting the implementation of the safety case at the Enriched Uranic Residue Processing Plant, together with participation in the quarterly regulatory review meeting, as part of the 2014/20145 Intervention Programme

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

A planned systems inspection was made of the implementation of the safety case at the Enriched Uranic Residue processing Plant.

I participated in the quarterly regulatory review meeting between the licensee and the regulators.  

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

A meeting was initially held to review the implementation of the Enriched Uranic Residues Recovery Plant safety case.  This was followed by a plant inspection of the facility, focused on inspection of the six key licence conditions related to a system inspection of the implementation of the safety case. This plant inspection included discussions with plant operations and maintenance staff. 

The regulatory review meeting enabled the licensee, and the National Nuclear Laboratory Limited tenant organisation, to review a broad range of matters of interest to the regulators.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable.

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

Integrating my observations at the meeting and the plant inspection, I was content that the licensee adequately demonstrated the implementation of the safety case at the Enriched Uranic Residue Processing Facility.  A number of new plant operators were being trained, as part of the site redeployment process, and effective arrangements were found to be being implemented to address the training needs of the new plant operators, including criticality safety training.  Good practice in alarm management principles was being implemented, to improve the clarity of alarms associated with the key safety mechanisms and to reduce spurious alarms.  A broad range of hazard reduction measures were being implemented, as part of continuous improvement.  Regulatory advice was provided on several matters, notably the need to fully test safety mechanisms, prior to the return to operations, which had not been fully tested during plant shutdown periods.  The licensee promptly implemented arrangements to rectify the shortfall observed in the maintenance of a safety mechanism and is arranging to communicate the learning site wide.

There was the usual useful, open and constructive dialogue between the regulators, the licensee and the National Nuclear Laboratory Limited tenant organisation.  The licensee reported generally adequate progress across a broad range of topics of regulatory interest, include the scope and timing of the decommissioning of site facilities and generally appropriate measures for minimising the accumulation of radioactive waste on the licensed site.  

Conclusions of Intervention

I concluded that the licensee had adequately implemented the safety case at the Enriched Uranic Residue Processing Plant and was implementing effective arrangements to maintain a live safety case.  Effective training arrangements for recently appointed operators were being also implemented.  The regulatory advice which I provided, to ensure that safety mechanisms were fully periodically tested prior to the restart of batch processing operations, was promptly implemented by the licensee.

The quarterly regulatory review meeting served as the usual constructive forum, enabling me to conduct a joint review of a broad range of regulatory matters, with an acceptable outcome.