Office for Nuclear Regulation

Low Level Waste Repository compliance inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This was one of programme of planned inspections at the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) during 2020/21, developed in accordance with the Decommissioning Fuel & Waste Sub-Division strategy.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I, the Site Inspector, inspected LLWR’s arrangements for compliance with Licence Conditions 28 (Examination, inspection, maintenance and testing), 26 (Control and supervision of operations) and 24 (Operating instructions). In addition, I inspected the site’s arrangements for managing the risk of COVID-19 transmission to ensure a safe workplace.

I also met with the site safety representatives.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable as no safety system was inspected.

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

I considered LLWR’s arrangements for compliance with the relevant Licence Conditions to be adequate. LLWR satisfactorily demonstrated that maintenance activities are conducted by, and under the control and supervision of, suitably qualified and experienced persons appointed for that purpose. I confirmed that roles associated with the observed operations specified appropriate training packages and sampled examples of individuals’ training records, confirming these were complete.

I checked the implementation of control and supervision of activities on the site at various levels, beginning with the daily site wide brief and how this is cascaded to teams deployed to conduct operations. I observed maintenance operations and confirmed with the staff involved their knowledge and understanding of the risks associated with the operation and area of the site within they were working, including the lines of control and supervision.

I reviewed the written instructions for the maintenance activity observed and confirmed these adequately described the task being undertaken and contained instructions necessary to ensure relevant limits and conditions from the safety case are implemented.

I received the standard LLWR ‘return to work’ brief upon arrival at the site which provided me with the latest LLWR positon and guidance for maintaining a COVID-19 secure workplace, and confirmed site’s arrangements are consistent with relevant government guidance. During the inspection I observed adequate implementation of the site arrangements and a generally high adherence to those arrangements from all members of LLWR staff upon the site.

I held a positive meeting with the safety representatives, and explained ONR’s regulatory approach during the pandemic. The safety representatives reported the workforce has been well engaged by the site management, receiving quality and timely communications, and that generally staff felt highly supported in their safety and well-being.

I concluded that LLWR’s arrangements for compliance with LCs 28, 26 and 24, and the arrangements for managing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, were adequate; and witnessed suitable evidence to demonstration that implementation of those arrangements is adequate.

Conclusion of Intervention

There are no findings from this inspection that undermine delivery of safe operations on the LLWR licensed site.