Office for Nuclear Regulation

Inspection of progress with Site Preparations

Executive summary

This inspection at the Bradwell licensed site was part of a programme of planned inspections as outlined in the Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) for 2018/19.

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of the inspection was to confirm compliance with Licence Conditions 12, 32 and 36, in order to check the progress of completion of the final site works for Care and Maintenance.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The licensee had advised that the completion date for the programme of works to clear the site as part of the C&M stage had slipped from the end of March 2019 to September 2019. This inspection reviewed progress against programme and ensure that the focus was being maintained on completing the work.

I reviewed progress with completing the commitments arising from the Bradwell C&M and PSR Submission

I undertook a review of an incident involving the crane in the ISF.

I inspected the combined security and process alarm system.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not Applicable

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

The key finding is that Licence Compliance and System Based Inspections (SBI’s) are no longer relevant for inspecting the site as the nuclear risk is reduced to a very low level and all the remaining risks are relevant more to conventional health and safety legislation.

The compliance with LC12 was considered adequate. The work is being managed by a team of persons based at Sizewell A who are qualified and experienced for a similar role at Sizewell A and have undergone an extensive programme of familiarisation with the Bradwell site. The final clear-up work is being carried out by approved contractors who have been working on the site for the period of preparation for C&M.

Compliance with LC32 was considered adequate. The site is no longer generating nuclear waste and an extensive programme of low level waste (LLW) processing is being undertaken to package the remaining LLW in approved packages and remove it from site. The site is noticeably less populated with materials and fewer containers.

Compliance with LC 36 was considered adequate. The staff now working on the completion of the C&M preparatory works are being retained until the work is completed.

Progress with the commitments made by Magnox Ltd in the Bradwell C&M submission is very good. Only ten remain outstanding and these are related to C&M preparation work that still needs to be completed.

I discussed the slippage of the site preparation programme completion date and concluded that work was progressing on the site at an acceptable rate given the large areas of the site that had been cleared. I concluded that the original estimate for completing the work had probably been optimistic and I stated that ONR would rather the work progressed steadily and safely rather than risking an accident rushing to meet an arbitrary date. Provided the preparation work continues at the current rate I am satisfied that the programme will be completed by September 2019.

I discussed an incident with the ISF crane where a DCIC was left for a period hanging at an angle and I was satisfied that the incident had been investigated properly and suitable measures had been taken in response. The ISF crane is capable of suspending the DCIC’s for indefinite periods, the DCIC are substantiated to withstand a drop from the full operating height of the crane, the contents are dried and passivated and any event will occur within the containment of the ISF building. The chances of a release arising from an ISF crane failure are very low indeed.

The security surveillance and site alarms system is now completed and I was able to observe the whole site and the reactors ‘Safe-store’ entry points using the new security surveillance system. Whilst I was inspecting the system two alarms were triggered and I was able to review the response procedures in use. 

Conclusion of Intervention

The site is in compliance with the Licence Conditions which have to be considered in proportion to the very low levels of nuclear risk and remaining work on the site.

Good progress has been made with the final preparations for C&M and the removal of waste and the porta-cabin complex is visibly progressing with large areas of the site being cleared already.