Office for Nuclear Regulation

Compliance inspection Transport of Radioactive Materials (Class 7 dangerous goods)

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

ONR regulates the civil transport of radioactive material by road, rail and inland waterway in Great Britain (GB). The ONR Transport Competent Authority (TCA) is responsible for delivering non-nuclear transport inspection and enforcement activities. This particular inspection forms part of that delivery function with reference to Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (CDG) and the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17). CDG refers to the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) and ADR 2019 was used during this inspection (www.unece.org).

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of the inspection was to review D Furnell Plant Services Ltd (operating as Furnell Transport) arrangements associated with the road transport of radioactive material. ONR carried out this inspection remotely (via Skype) on 2 July 2020.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The chosen inspection sample included:

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

The inspector sampled the arrangements deployed by Furnell Transport for the safe transport of radioactive materials, including the associated arrangements for protecting workers against the effects of ionising radiations and reducing risks as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP). 

The inspector compared relevant statutory requirements with both prescribed arrangements and actual practice. A number of examples of the duty holder meeting relevant good practice in reducing risk to levels that are ALARP were identified, including driver training and instruction, testing of emergency arrangements. A number of non-compliances were identified and discussed during the inspection, which included adequacy of its radiation risk assessment and emergency arrangements as well as a lack of contingency plans.

During the inspection, the inspector also suggested certain improvements to transport practices that would be prudent for Furnell Transport to consider.

Conclusion of Intervention

 Furnell Transport demonstrated that for aspects of its operations it met the requirements of CDG, ADR and IRR17.

Based on the inspection sample, the inspector identified three non-compliances with relevant legislation and suggested one improvement. These were all discussed during the inspection and a commitment obtained from Furnell Transport to address them.

Furnell Transport was given until 21 August 2020 to provide ONR either with evidence that the findings have been resolved, or an appropriate resolution plan with timescales for completion.

For this intervention, an IIS Rating of AMBER is given, due to there being some deficiencies identified within its arrangements for compliance with legal requirements. These relate to the three areas of non-compliance identified during the inspection.

All non-compliances will be managed through ONR’s Issues Management arrangements.