Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Participation in the Tails Management Facility project joint regulator update meeting and a meeting to finalise the detailed arrangements for a forthcoming Level One emergency exercise

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

Planned participation in the quarterly Tails Management Facility (TMF) project joint regulator update meeting, as part of the 2014/15 intervention programme for the Urenco UK Limited Capenhurst site.

A reactive meeting was held with the licensee, to finalise the detailed arrangements for a forthcoming Level One emergency exercise.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I participated in the quarterly project joint regulator update meeting for the Tails Management Facility, currently being constructed on the Capenhurst licensed site.  Regulatory advice was provided on a number of regulatory matters.

A positive meeting was held with the licensee’s Emergency Planning & Response Manager, to finalise the detailed arrangements for a forthcoming Level One emergency exercise. 

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable.

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

At the project meeting, the licensee reported construction safety metrics, where it was agreed that improvements to the construction safety performance were required.  The measures taken in response to some recent RIDDOR reportable events were adequately explained.  The licensee also reported that in response to delays to the TMF project, a significant reorganisation was being proposed of the Urenco ChemPlants Limited tenant organisation, constructing the TMF facility.  This organisational change was being assessed, in compliance with the licensee’s licence condition 36 (organisational change) arrangements.  The newly appointed Construction Director emphasised the importance of safety.  Aspects of the Improvement Notice recently issued by ONR to the principal contractor on the TMF project were discussed and I provided regulatory advice on related aspects of this ONR enforcement action.  I rehearsed that I considered that the licensee’s tenant operations control management, for the licensee’s control of tenant organisations at Capenhurst, continued to perform very effectively.  The licensee readily acknowledged the measures necessary to rectify shortfalls in the safety cases, which required improvement, before ONR would be in a position to issue Licence Instruments to permission the next stage of the project.  There was good dialogue between the licensee on ONR regarding safety case matters which should facilitate improvements to be made, in accordance with the regulatory advice provided by ONR. The licensee was planning a ‘lessons learned’ review which would also inform the ongoing periodic revision to the enrichment facility safety cases.  The meeting was conducted in the usual constructive, open manner.

The licensee had prepared a detailed plan for the forthcoming Level One emergency exercise, to be observed by a team of ONR inspectors.  Some fine tuning of this plan was made, incorporating the regulatory advice provided at this meeting, which should enable the licensee to adequately demonstrate sufficient key elements of the ‘on site’ emergency plan at the forthcoming exercise.  The licensee also reported having completed some repairs to a facility which will be used during the exercise, following my request at a previous inspection.

Conclusions of Intervention

On balance, I concluded that the licensee’s open reporting of a range of matters of regulatory interest, relating to the ongoing construction of the Tails Management Facility, provided an acceptable degree of regulatory assurance.  Some areas of known shortfalls were being adequately addressed, particularly in relation to an Improvement Notice on the principal contractor, (requiring improvements to arrangements for controlling temporary construction works) and also in relation to the licensee’s safety cases for the Tails Management Facility, which the licensee acknowledged required further development, in order to enable ONR to permission the next stage of the project.

I was satisfied with the licensee’s planning of the scenario and scope of the forthcoming emergency exercise, which was of a good standard. The licensee readily accepted the regulatory advice to promptly finalise the detailed exercise plan.