Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Participation in Liaison Meetings between the Urenco UK Limited Licensee

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The primary purpose was to participate in liaison meetings between the Urenco UK Limited licensee, the Capenhurst Nuclear Services Limited tenant organisation and the regulators. A meeting was also held to discuss organisational changes proceeding within the Urenco ChemPlants Limited tenant organisation.  An enrichment facility familiarisation visit was made by the ONR conventional health and safety sub programme delivery lead.

Intervention Carried Out by ONR

ONR inspectors participated in a useful quarterly liaison meeting between the Urenco UK Limited licensee, the Capenhurst Nuclear Services Limited tenant organisation and the regulators. 

The ONR Conventional Health & Safety Sub Programme Lead Inspector paid a familiarisation visit to the largest enrichment facility, accompanied by the Head of SHEQ / Chief Nuclear Officer designate. 

An ONR leadership & management for safety specialist inspector met with the licensee and the Urenco ChemPlants Limited (UCP) tenant organisation to discuss organisational changes in the leadership of the UCP Tails Management Facility project management team.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable.

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

A broad range of regulatory topics were constructively discussed at the quarterly regulatory review meeting.  I was able to clarify a misunderstanding of the licensee in that there was no ONR constraint impeding the licensee’s progress on a site improvement project.  ONR effectively demonstrated to the licensee ‘joined up’ ONR conventional safety, nuclear safety and security regulation, refuting a challenge from the licensee. The licensee reported an acceptable position on a range of topics of regulatory interest.  Acceptable progress was also encouragingly reported with some recent solid radioactive waste disposals and also on a number of decommissioning projects, which were reducing the hazard on the site.  Regulatory advice was provided on a number of matters, also addressing some queries raised by the licensee.  

The familiarisation visit did not warrant an inspection rating.

Aspects of two organisational changes relating to the Tails Management Facility project were reviewed and regulatory advice provided on a number of aspects of the organisational changes.  One change had recently been implemented, albeit with a late application of the associated risk assessment.  The second organisational change would be implemented after current contractual arrangement discussions had been completed.  Changes to to the Urenco ChemPlants Limited tenant organisation, (who are building and will operate the Tails Management Facility on the Urenco UK Limited licensed site) were generally being duly controlled in compliance with the licensee’s arrangements.

Conclusion of Intervention

In my judgement, an intervention rating of 3, adequate, was considered appropriate for the licensee’s reported implementation of licence condition 33 (through acceptable recent solid radioactive waste disposals) and licence condition 35 decommissioning arrangements, (through recently accelerated legacy uranium hexafluoride bottle emptying and washing operations) both reviewed with the licensee at this intervention.  

No inspection rating was appropriate for the plant familiarisation visit.

On balance, an inspection rating of 3, adequate, was considered appropriate for this intervention.  Regulatory advice was provided to the licensee on a range of organisational capability topics.  The licensee was implementing the organisational capability arrangements, generally in compliance with the licensee’s arrangements, albeit with some late application of the arrangements to some aspects of one of the organisational changes discussed.