Office for Nuclear Regulation

SOCOTEC UK Limited, 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 SOCOTEC UK Limited’s arrangements (hereon in referred to as SOCOTEC) associated with the road transport of radioactive material. ONR carried out this remote inspection via Skype of the Doncaster site on 8 September 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 SOCOTEC 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 many aspects of its radiation risk assessment, restriction of exposure, local rules, information, instruction and training and review and testing of contingency plans. A number of non-compliances were identified and discussed during the inspection, which included emergency plans, information within security plans and its dangerous goods safety adviser’s annual report.

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

 Conclusion of Intervention

 SOCOTEC demonstrated that for certain aspects of its operations it met the requirements of CDG, ADR and IRR17. Based on the inspection sample, the inspector also identified three non-compliances with relevant legislation and suggested one other improvement. These were all discussed during the inspection and a commitment obtained from SOCOTEC to address them.

SOCOTEC was given until 20 October 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 GREEN is given, due to there being some minor contraventions of administrative requirements.

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