Office for Nuclear Regulation

UUK - Operational Standards Compliance Inspection 

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This inspection on the Capenhurst licensed nuclear site was undertaken as part of a programme of planned inspections, as outlined in the Capenhurst URENCO UK (UUK) inspection plan for 2018/19. The main scope of the inspection focussed on internal self-regulation and leadership and management for safety arrangements. A targeted compliance inspection of restrictions on and consignment of nuclear matter was also undertaken.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

During this inspection, I carried out an Operational Standards Compliance Inspection against the following licence conditions: LC4 Restrictions on Nuclear Matter on Site; LC5 Consignment of Nuclear Matter; LC13 Nuclear Safety Committee; LC17 Management Systems; and LC25 Operational Records.

Throughout this inspection, I sought to gain evidence of:

Provision of nuclear safety advice: Adequate nuclear safety advice which supports effective, proportionate nuclear safety leadership, management and decision making at all levels of the organisation.

A challenge culture: A culture whereby receiving advice and challenge are an expected and accepted part of routine business. Managers make conservative decisions and set high standards that are both reinforced verbally and by actions during routine plant visits. Operational Decision Making is documented and subject to a consistent formal process and review.

An independent challenge capability: Adequate independent challenge to, and oversight of, nuclear safety leadership, management and decision making at all levels of the organisation, including the establishment of an independent internal regulation function.

Adequate organisational capability for nuclear safety advice and independent challenge: Appropriate organisation, staffing and management of the nuclear safety advice and independent challenge capabilities.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


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

During this inspection, I utilised the licensees own governance meeting structure to review their leadership and management for safety, followed by an inspection of the independent assurance function and internal challenge capability. In addition, I undertook a targeted inspection to review operational decision making, consignment and restrictions of nuclear matter on site and the associated record keeping.

I judged that UUK had in place a suitable organisational structure and resources to discharge both the advice and independent challenge function. UUK provided clear evidence of conservative and operational decision making, supported by the processes within their management system.

I judged that the UUK site oversight of compliance is effective and UUK routinely reviews its own compliance status and initiates effective remedial action when necessary.  I judged that the site oversight function is embedded within their management system and that UUK is providing appropriate control and supervision of the two licenced site tenants, using their internal assurance function and governance committees.

I reviewed a sample of the operational documents and records and undertook a plant walk down to confirm adequate consignment of nuclear matter. I judged UUK to be compliant in all areas inspected and the individuals interviewed to be professional, experienced and well trained.

I judged that senior managers create an environment of mutual respect and are transparent and honest with staff and stakeholders promoting an open culture to support appropriate decision making, learning from experience and internal challenge.

Conclusion of Intervention

In my opinion, the Licensee's arrangements for compliance with LC 4, 5, 13, 17, and 25 were adequate from the sample of arrangements inspected and the staff interviewed during the inspection.  I therefore conclude that there are no matters that may impact significantly on nuclear safety.