Office for Nuclear Regulation

The University of Leeds, Transport compliance inspection

Executive summary

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), the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17) and the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019 (REPPIR19). CDG refers to the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) and ONR used ADR 2019 during this inspection (

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of the inspection was to review the University of Leeds’s arrangements associated with the road transport of radioactive material. ONR carried out this inspection remotely on 2 February 2021.

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 the University of Leeds 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.  The inspector identified a number of examples of the duty holder meeting relevant good practice in reducing risk to levels that are ALARP, including measures to restrict exposure, contingency planning, local rules and information, instruction and training. The inspector identified a number of non-compliances and discussed these during the inspection, which included its radiation risk assessment and testing of its contingency plan.

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

Conclusion of Intervention

 The University of Leeds demonstrated that for certain aspects of its operations it met the requirements of CDG, ADR and IRR17. Based on the inspection sample, the inspector identified two minor non-compliances with relevant legislation and suggested four improvements. The inspector discussed these during the inspection and the University of Leeds gave a commitment to address them.

The inspector gave the University of Leeds until 16 March 2021 to provide ONR either with evidence that the findings have been resolved, or an appropriate resolution plan with timescales for completion.

For this intervention, the inspector gave an inspection rating of GREEN, due to there being only relatively minor deficiencies in compliance arrangements and examples of best practice observed.

ONR will monitor the identified non-compliances through its Issues Management arrangements.