Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Berkeley Site: project assessment report for the closing out of the Berkeley periodic safety review (PSR)

Purpose of document

This project assessment report relates to the 10-yearly periodic safety review undertaken at Berkeley decommissioning power station.

Please note that this project assessment report differs from other reports because it is not in response to a request for permission for a licensee to undertake activity.

Background

This project assessment report (PAR) has been written to allow the Health and Safety Executives (HSEs) Nuclear Directorate (ND) to close out the assessment phase of the Berkeley 2009 PSR.

Until 2006 there were two licensed sites at Berkeley - Berkeley Nuclear Power Station, and Berkeley Centre, which had been research and development facilities. Both sites have had decommissioning and demolition activities undertaken over the years, and they were consolidated into a single site, and re-licensed. The 2009 PSR therefore covers the existing nuclear site Berkeley Site.

The licensees PSR was submitted to HSE ND in August 2008. Update reports on the current state of the project and all identified work packages have been submitted on several occasions since this date.

The facilities on the site are being prepared for a period of care and maintenance (C&M). Some of the remaining wastes will be retrieved and facilities decommissioned, but other facilities present lower risks and are not national priorities, so the C&M strategy is to maintain these in a safe state into the future.
The PSR provided an opportunity for the licensee to look at the current state of all the facilities on the site, the way in which these are managed and challenges into the future. The licensee identified a work programme of improvements arising from their review.

Assessment and inspection work carried out by ND in consideration of this request

HSE ND has carried out a range of activities to look at the Berkeley PSR and the resulting improvement programmes. The submission has been subject to an overall appraisal via a screening analysis, and queries from this have been put to the licensee and responded to. The project improvement plans have been monitored since submission by site and project inspectors. Additionally, there have been detailed specialist assessments, particularly in the areas of the radioactive waste safety case.

Matters arising from ND's work

HSE ND recognised that the requirement for Magnox South (now part of Magnox Limited) to carry out a PSR for Berkeley Site has been a valuable exercise for improving safety on the site and gaining a better strategic overview. There have been significant benefits:

HSE ND has noted and welcomed the increased clarity on the future intentions for the site. This is due to:

Conclusions

The Berkeley PSR fulfilled its main purposes of reviewing the plants, processes, management, operations and facilities covered by a safety case are safe, and that ageing and other time-related phenomena will not render them unsafe before the next PSR. It included a work programme of improvements arising from the review.

In the period since submission, Berkeley site has discharged all aspects of the work of the improvement programme. The condition of plant has been improved and risks have been reduced. Additionally, there have been improvements to procedures, drawings, and supporting documents. All these improvements have been beneficial and have demonstrated the value of a PSR.

The most important PSR finding was the need for an updated consolidated radioactive waste safety case for the site. This was completed, and assessed by HSE ND. Future interactions on the revised consolidated radioactive waste safety case, and on the safe store safety case, will be as part of the continuing monitoring of the Berkeley Site by HSE ND.

Recommendations

It is recommended that HSE ND issues a letter to the Site Director, confirming that with the completion of the work programme, HSE ND has reached the conclusion that the PSR approach for Berkeley has led to an acceptable outcome.

Updated 2011-04-19