Office for Nuclear Regulation

Dounreay Conduct of Inspection in support of IIS

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

In line with the 2014/15 inspection plan for Dounreay I carried out planned inspections and other interventions to provide confidence that Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd. (DSRL) is controlling its hazards properly and complying with its statutory obligations.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I undertook compliance inspection against Licence Condition 7.  In addition I conducted a preliminary investigation into the circumstances surrounding a small fire in the PFR Sodium Tank, notified to ONR via INF1 2014/404. A SEPA inspector and I met with the Project Director Waste for a routine progress update.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


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

My Licence Condition 7 inspection sampled compliance against site arrangements centrally and within FCA Directorate and the LLW assay and processing plant.  I found evidence of recording, investigation and resultant action management and considered an adequate standard of compliance to be demonstrated.

My preliminary investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fire in the PFR Sodium Tank Farm has raised a number of concerns, particularly with respect to organisational capability, control of work, risk assessment and safety culture.  ONR has previously raised concerns in relation to method statements, work control and organisational effectiveness within the Tank Farm and the potential implications these matters might have on a site-wide scale.  The effectiveness of DSRL’s response to these original concerns has been challenged by this event.  DSRL will provide its initial investigation findings and proposed actions when members of its Senior Management Team meet with ONR at Redgrave Court on 5 November.  The outcome of this will inform the decision whether further regulatory action is warranted.

Conclusion of Intervention

The intervention did not identify any matter impacting on nuclear safety that required immediate regulatory action.  Operations within the Sodium Tank Farm had already ceased and will only re-start in consultation with ONR.