Office for Nuclear Regulation

This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience. You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information.

Winfrith - Planned Intervention

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This was a planned inspection at Research Sites Restoration Limited’s (RSRL’s) Winfrith site, undertaken as part of the planned intervention strategy for the Winfrith site for 2014/15.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

In relation to Licence Condition 2 (LC2) “marking of the site boundary” I (nominated site inspector) considered the implementation of RSRL’s LC2 arrangements at the Winfrith site.  As part of this I inspected the full site boundary.  I selected this topic since I needed to verify the site boundary and map as part of the relicensing of the Winfrith site to Magnox Limited.  I also followed up ONR Issue 3146 “Relicensing, LC2 at Harwell” raised during my equivalent LC2 inspection at Harwell in January.

I held a meeting with the RSRL Winfrith safety representatives, to support their function of representing employees and receiving information on matters affecting their health, safety and welfare at work.

I undertook planned information gathering, including following up an incident in which a failure of a valve in the Arish Mell shore valve house on 2 December 2014 led to the release of radioactive effluent from the site onto the foreshore.  RSRL’s investigation had been completed. The objectives of my follow was to satisfy myself that a thorough investigation had been undertaken and that appropriate lessons have been learned that are relevant to operations on the site.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable.

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

In relation to LC2, I noted that RSRL had recently updated their arrangements to include maintenance of the site boundary and its marking in line with defined maintenance instructions and had completed such an inspection recently.  Most corrective actions from this RSRL inspection had been completed at the time of my inspection.  Based on my inspection I verified the site boundary and map provided as part of the relicensing of the Winfrith site to Magnox Limited.  I noted that the boundaries of the site were marked to a good standard and that in all cases fences or other means used for marking were being maintained to a good standard.  I noted that significant improvements had been made since the last LC2 inspection at Winfrith in July 2013.  Taking all these factors into account I assigned an IIS rating of 2 (good standard) to LC2 at Winfrith.  I noted that adequate progress was being made to address ONR Issue 3146 relevant to LC2 at Harwell.

In relation to the Arish Mell shore valve house incident, I was satisfied that the RSRL investigation had been thorough.  I will provide RSRL with my final comments on this incident once I have received and reviewed some additional information requested during this intervention.

In relation to the other activities undertaken in this intervention, no key findings arose.

The intervention was performed in line with ONR’s guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides) in the areas inspected.

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence gathered during this intervention, no matters have been identified that are likely to have a significant impact on nuclear safety on the site at this time. Therefore, no additional regulator action arising from this visit is considered necessary at this time.