Office for Nuclear Regulation

Devonport - Readiness Review in advance of restart of Crane Refuel Operations

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This intervention at the Devonport Royal Dockyard (DRDL) licensed site was undertaken in order to provide assurance to ONR that DRDL had enhanced its arrangements for the safe control and operation of mobile and portal crane activities prior to resumption of these activities on the licenced site.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The intervention consisted of an inspection of DRDL’s readiness to resume these crane activities, seeking to confirm that the licensee has made the necessary improvements to demonstrate that adequate arrangements are in place for the safe control of crane operations. 

The readiness inspection was undertaken by the ONR Nominated Site Inspector accompanied by 2 Principal Site Inspectors, one Site Inspector and a specialist inspector. The inspection involved examination of relevant licensee documentation, targeted discussions with relevant members of the licensee’s staff and a walkdown of the relevant facilities. The scope of inspection was derived from relevant ONR Technical Inspection Guides (NS-INSP-GD-026 Revision 3, NS-INSP-GD-027 Revision 5) and from the relevant Approved Code of Practice for the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (L113 (Second edition) Published 2014).

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


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

The ONR inspection team reviewed the claims, arguments and evidence presented by DRDL as justification that the necessary enhancements have been implemented for the safe control of mobile and portal crane activities on the licenced site. The ONR inspection team judged that the case presented by the licensee did not adequately demonstrate that the root causes to recent crane events have been identified and understood.  Understanding the root causes of events should enable a full suite of corrective actions to be generated and provide confidence that the identified remedial actions and control measures are suitable and sufficient to prevent a recurrence and hence enable a safe return to operations. Given that the licensee could not demonstrate this, the ONR inspection team concluded that the return to safe crane operations (excluding refuel related crane activities) cannot be supported without further justification.  I also recommended adoption of a conservative approach to restart where a controlled restart would allow the site to confirm that identified improvements are effective and provide an additional level of control and scrutiny in the interim.  

In relation to refuel related crane activities, the licensee provided an update in relation to progress with programme for restart of these activities. ONR inspectors undertook a walkdown of relevant plant areas.

Conclusion of Intervention

On the basis of information and evidence obtained during this intervention I concluded that the return to safe crane operations (excluding refuel related crane activities) cannot be supported without further justification. I clearly articulated expectations to be met in producing an adequate justification for restart of these activities.