Office for Nuclear Regulation

Dounreay – Inspection ID: 22-026

  • Site: Dounreay
  • IR number: 22-026
  • Date: June 2022
  • LC numbers: 10, 23, 24, 27, 28, 34

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This inspection at Dounreay was one of a series of inspections planned for 2022/23 to confirm that Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) is controlling its hazards and complying with its statutory obligations.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

This intervention included a systems based inspection which focused on nuclear handling systems used to support the Breeder Fuel Removal Project within DFR.  This inspection assesses the implementation of the key outputs from the associated safety justification to support nuclear handling activities against the requirements of the following Nuclear Site Licence Conditions (LC):

  • LC10 – Training.
  • LC23 – Operating rules.
  • LC24 – operating Instructions.
  • LC27 – Safety mechanisms, devices, and circuits.
  • LC28 – Examination, inspection, maintenance, and testing.
  • LC34 – Leakage and escape of radioactive material and radioactive waste.

ONR also conducted compliance inspections against the requirements of the following Nuclear Site Licence Conditions (LC):

  • LC13 – Nuclear safety committee.
  • LC32 – Accumulation of radioactive waste.
  • LC35 – Decommissioning.

These inspections included an assessment of the adequacy of the site’s arrangements and the implementation of LC32 within the following operational areas:

  • Waste Reduction, Assay, Characterisation and Super-Compaction Facility.
  • D1208 – Radioactive Liquors Treatment Facility.

This intervention also provided the opportunity for ONR to conduct preliminary enquiries into the recent incident at the PFR Sodium Tank Farm notified to ONR as INF-1869.

The Nominated Site Inspector also attended the Dounreay Stakeholder Group Public Meeting during this intervention.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable.

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

ONR is satisfied that DSRL demonstrated an adequate demonstration of the implementation of the outputs from its safety case in support of nuclear handling operations within DFR.

The compliance inspection against LC32 focused on the improvement activities implemented by DSRL following the previous compliance inspection conducted in December 2021. ONR is satisfied that DSRL continues to demonstrate compliance against the requirements of LC32 and has made significant progress to improve their arrangements against the relevant good practice identified within ONR’s guidance document NS-INSP-GD-032.  ONR will continue to monitor progress as part of its ongoing schedule of LC32 inspection activities.

The compliance inspection against LC35 identified a systemic shortfall in DSRL’s arrangements for the development and governance of the site decommissioning plan.  Acknowledging the significant programme of work that is currently being undertaken by DSRL to develop their Long Term Plan,  ONR has identified a number of areas against which it will be seeking improvements.  These will be monitored via the Regulatory Issue raised in response to this inspection.

The activities conducted against LC13 during this intervention focused on the conduct of the Dounreay Site Safety Working Party and the management arrangements covering the Dounreay Nuclear Safety and Environment Committee. Based on the evidence provided during this intervention and the activities undertaken in May 2022, ONR is satisfied that DSRL has, and has implemented, adequate arrangements to meet the requirements of LC13 and the relevant good practice within ONR’s guidance document NS-INSP-GD-013.

Conclusion of Intervention

Overall, we consider that DSRL has, and has implemented, adequate arrangements to meet the requirements of the legislation covered by this inspection in the areas inspected.  We did not identify any matter impacting on nuclear safety that required any further immediate regulatory action.