Office for Nuclear Regulation

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GE Healthcare Ltd, Grove Centre Site, Amersham - Q1 2011

Quarterly report for 1 January - 31 March 2011


Foreword

This report is issued as part of the Office for Nuclear Regulations (ONR) commitment to make information about inspection and regulatory activities relating to the Grove Centre (TGC) available to the public. Reports are distributed quarterly to members of the Grove Centre Local Liaison Committee and also available on the ONR website.

Site inspectors from ONR usually attend the Grove Centre Local Liaison Committee and will respond to any questions raised there by the members of the group. Any other person wishing to inquire about matters covered by this report should contact the ONR.

Email: ONRenquiries@onr.gsi.gov.uk
Post: Office for Nuclear Regulation
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Bootle
Merseyside
L20 7HS

Inspections

The ONR Site Inspector made inspections on the following dates during the quarter:


Routine matters

Inspections at GE Healthcare, The Grove Centre, Amersham

Inspections are made at all GE Healthcare Ltds nuclear licensed sites including Cardiff (the Maynard Centre) and Harwell. Where these are relevant to the Grove Centre, Amersham, they are included in this report. For instance, the sites have many arrangements in common for compliance with the conditions attached to their site licences.

Inspections are undertaken as part of the process for monitoring compliance with:

  1. the conditions attached by HSE / ONR to the nuclear site licence;
  2. the Health and Safety at Work etc Act (HSWA) 1974; and
  3. regulations made under the HSWA (for example the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999).

This entails monitoring licensees actions on the site in relation to incidents, operations, maintenance, projects, modifications, safety case changes and any other matters which may affect safety. The licensees/operators are required to make and implement adequate arrangements under the conditions attached to the licence in order to ensure legal compliance. Inspections seek to judge both the adequacy of these arrangements and their implementation. In this period routine inspections of (site/station) covered:

In general the arrangements made and implemented by the site in response to safety requirements were deemed to be adequate in the areas inspected. However, where improvements were considered necessary, satisfactory commitments to address the issues were made by the licensee, and the Site Inspector will monitor progress during future visits. Where necessary, formal regulatory enforcement action will be taken to ensure that appropriate remedial measures are implemented to reasonably practicable timescales.


Non-routine matters

Licensees are required to have arrangements to respond to non-routine matters and events. ONR inspectors judge the adequacy of the licensees response, including actions taken to implement any necessary improvements.


Regulatory activities

Under health and safety legislation, ONR site inspectors, and other HSE inspectors, may issue formal documents to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Under nuclear site licence conditions, ONR issues regulatory documents, which either permit an activity or require some form of action to be taken; these are usually collectively termed licence instruments (LIs), but can take other forms. In addition, inspectors may issue enforcement notices to secure improvements to safety.

News from ONR

Following an announcement on 8th February 2011, the Government intend to bring forward legislation to create a new independent statutory body outside of the HSE to regulate the nuclear power industry. The new statutory corporation would be known as the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and would take on the relevant functions currently carried out by the Health and Safety Executive and the Department for Transport.

The ONR would be a new independent regulator, formally responsible in law for delivering its regulatory functions. The creation of the ONR would consolidate civil nuclear and radioactive transport safety and security regulation in one place.
The proposal will not affect the current regulatory requirements or standards with which industry must comply, and the vast majority of the costs of the regulator would continue to be recovered in charges from operators in the nuclear industry rather than funded by the public purse. Additional organisational costs will be entirely met by the nuclear industry.

Pending the legislation, the Health and Safety Executive is taking steps to establish the ONR as a non-statutory body from 1 April 2011, signalling our commitment to securing an appropriately resourced and responsive regulator for the future challenges of the nuclear sector. The Government will review the functions and processes of the interim body in order to inform its planned legislation.
Following this announcement, work is ongoing within Nuclear Directorate to implement the move to ONR. However, business as usual remains unaffected. If you have any further questions, please contact ndenquiries@onr.gsi.gov.uk.

Updated 2011-06-16