Office for Nuclear Regulation

Capenhurst TMF Project - LC11 inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This inspection was carried out as part of ONR’s permissioning strategy for the Tails Management Facility (TMF) at the URENCO UK Ltd licensed nuclear site at Capenhurst.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The by-product of uranium enrichment is depleted uranium hexafluoride, known as tails.  A new facility, the Tails Management Facility (TMF), is being constructed on the URENCO UK Ltd’s Capenhurst site to convert tails to an oxide of uranium, a chemical form more suitable for long-term storage.  The TMF is being constructed by, and will be operated by, Urenco ChemPlants Ltd (UCP), a tenant on the Capenhurst site, but owned by the parent company URENCO.

This inspection was carried out to judge aspects of the adequacy of the emergency arrangements made under Licence Condition 11 (LC 11), and is part of an ongoing programme of inspections and assessment of UCP’s readiness to commence active commissioning of the TMF, which is subject to an ONR regulatory hold-point.  It involved observation of an emergency exercise by site staff in response to a realistic emergency scenario.

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

From the evidence observed during the emergency exercise I am of the opinion that both the licensee and the tenant have made and implemented adequate emergency arrangements in readiness for the commencement of active commissioning of the TMF.

 Some minor observations were made during the inspection for licensee and the tenant to consider.

Conclusion of Intervention

My conclusion from the findings of the inspection is that the emergency arrangements are in alignment with the requirements of LC 11 and are adequate for the commencement of active commissioning of the TMF.