Office for Nuclear Regulation

Springfields – Inspection ID: 22-045

  • Site: Springfields
  • IR number: 22-045
  • Date: June 2022
  • LC numbers: 10, 23, 24, 27, 28, 34

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This inspection on the Springfields Works nuclear site was undertaken as part of a programme of planned inspections as outlined in the Springfields Fuels Limited site inspection plan for 2022/23.

The purpose of the inspection was to sample the adequacy of the systems and arrangements in place for the safe handling and storage on site of uranium hexafluoride cylinders.  

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The system based inspection sampled the measures and arrangements in place to establish and maintain the safe storage of uranium hexafluoride in two selected designated areas of the site. The scope of the inspection encompassed the following licence conditions:

  • LC10 Training
  • LC23 Operating rules
  • LC24 Operating Instructions
  • LC28 Examination, Inspection, Maintenance and Testing
  • LC34 Leakage and escape of radioactive material and radioactive waste

The inspection comprised a combination of plant inspection, office-based examination of procedures and records and interviews with staff.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not Applicable. 

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

The intervention looked at the safety case and the hazard associated with the potential for damage of the uranium hexafluoride cylinders during handling and from fire. In the absence of claimed safety mechanisms, devices and circuits, the intervention looked at four of the claimed passive safety features and their maintenance. The intervention then considered the safety case claims associated with the periodic examination and maintenance of the cylinders to maintain their integrity and so prevent leakage and escape of radioactive material. The training of personnel undertaking the cylinder moves on site was also inspected.

Based on the evidence sampled, the licensee presented a comprehensive and robust thread from the hazards identified in the safety case to the measures and arrangements in place to ensure the safe handling and storage of the uranium hexafluoride cylinders on site. The personnel interviewed during the intervention demonstrated a good knowledge and understanding of the measures and arrangements associated with the safety case claims and the associated operating rules and conditions. The plant walkdown in the two selected cylinder storage area further confirmed the findings.

Three opportunities for improvements have been discussed with the site and will be followed up during future routine engagements with the site.

Conclusion of Intervention

Based on the evidence gathered during this inspection, I consider that the licensee has made and implemented adequate arrangements to ensure the storage of uranium hexafluoride cylinders fulfils the requirements specified in the safety case.