Office for Nuclear Regulation

Planned System Inspection Jointly with the Environment Agency of the Containment of Radioactive Material on part of the Licensed Site Leased to Capenhurst

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

Planned system inspection, jointly with the Environment Agency, of the containment of radioactive material, on part of the licensed site leased from Urenco UK Limited to the Capenhurst Nuclear Services Limited (CNS) tenant organisation.  This intervention formed part of the 2015/16 ONR intervention programme at the Urenco UK Limited licensed site at Capenhurst.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

A planned system inspection, jointly with the Environment Agency, was held, on the topic of the implementation of the safety case for the containment of radioactive material (on the CNS tenant site).  A meeting was also held to discuss a recent joint ONR / EA letter, sent in response to the legacy “Hex Tails” minor leakage event of November 2014.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

The outcome of the system inspection was judged to be adequate.

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

The licensee delivered a comprehensive presentation to explain how training was currently managed and the forthcoming enhancements to the training arrangements.  The training records subsequently sampled during the plant inspection of the uranic residue storage areas were observed to be of a good standard.

The licensee adequately demonstrated the arrangements for the implementation of the extant safety case, as it applied to the containment of radioactive materials, predominantly solid, (with some liquid), uranic residues, which were generally in the Low to Very Low Level radioactive waste category.  Good progress continues to be made with the timely disposal of the broad range of legacy low level radioactive waste materials from the site.

A number of the tenant organisation’s arrangements for implementing licence conditions were reviewed.  It was noted that, of those inspected during this system inspection, the company instructions had all been very recently revised.  Programmes to implement the arrangements were discussed, with an acceptable outcome.

Regulatory advice was provided relating to some shortfalls observed in the bunding containment of very low level liquid radioactive wastes, which could affect the containment of such waste, in the event of leakage of the liquid waste storage containers. Adequate arrangements are being implemented to inspect the containment of legacy “Hex Tails” cylinders, this matter attracting due attention by the tenant organisation.

Conclusion of Intervention

I concluded that on the basis of this joint system intervention, with the Environment Agency that the CNS tenant organisation was able to adequately demonstrate the implementation of the safety case for the containment of radioactive materials.  Regulatory advice was provided to the tenant organisation to address some minor shortfalls observed during the intervention.

At the meeting requested by the CNS tenant to discuss the joint ONR / EA letter, sent in response to the minor leak of legacy “Hex Tails”, the regulators were able to explain the rationale for the letter and the related EA assessment rating, in response to the request from the licensee for clarification of the Environment Agency assessment rating.