Office for Nuclear Regulation

Amersham – Inspection ID: 52843

Date(s) of inspection

  • October 2023

Executive summary

Aim of inspection

All Licensees have a duty to comply with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17). The purpose of this inspection is to gain assurance that the arrangements within GEHC The Grove Centre  are compliant with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17).

Regulation 12(3) introduces a new duty on employers to estimate doses to members of the public, in addition to the duty to restrict exposures under Regulation 9.

Subject(s) of inspection

  • IRR17 – Rating: Green

Key findings, inspector’s opinions and reasons for judgement made

ONR undertook this inspection to examine GE HealthCare Limited (GEHC), The Grove Centre (Amersham) physical arrangements for controlling exposure to ionising radiations from The Grove Centre Licensed site to employees and members of the public.

This was one of the planned Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017  (incorporating direct shine and other pathways) inspections during 2023-24 in support of the Office for Nuclear Regulation Decommissioning Fuel and Waste sub-division strategy.

The GEHC Grove Centre nuclear licensed site was selected for inspection for the following reasons:-

The last Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 inspection of the Grove Centre was undertaken in June 2019 (CM9 2019/184794).

The Grove Centre is one of four licensed sites which has a radiation dose rate to the most exposed member of the public above the ONR Safety Assessment Principle (SAP) Target 3 Basic Safety Objective (BSO) of 0.020 mSv but did not exceed the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) recommended dose constraint of 0.3 mSv. No licensed site exceeds the Basic Safety Level (BSL) of 1 mSv.

The Grove Centre radiation dose rate to the most exposed member of the public (From 2014 to 2020) was at a consistent value (above the BSO). In 2021 there was a noticeable drop in dose rate (remaining above the BSO) to the most exposed member of the public due to the cessation of operations on site.

The inspection was conducted via discussions with key licensee personnel, the sampling of licensee documentation and a site perimeter fence walk-down. The conclusion of the inspection was that ONR was content that GEHC had taken adequate steps for compliance with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 regulations sampled and to reduce doses to the public from the site operations.

Conclusion

I noted that number and location of the TLDs in relation to properties outside the site perimeter fence to be adequate.

I noted the placement of extra CMUs on the outer wall of Building 24 to reduce the dose rate to the members of the public.

I noted that GEHC have revisited the stacking of waste containers within the MHC with the aim to increase self-shielding and reduce the dose rate from the stored packages; the use of lead top shields to reduce skyshine.

All RPI viewed throughout the inspection was within calibration date and in good working condition. This includes installed and portable equipment, activity in air monitors, neutron monitors and integrated particulate monitors (IPMs).

I judged GEHC implementation of IRR17 regulations examined to be adequate to reduce doses to the employees and the public from the site operations in the areas inspected and assign a rating of green.

Feedback was provided to the site at the end of the inspection noting the areas of good practice and areas for improvements specifically:

  • GEHC demonstrated good practice in assessing the dose for the most exposed member of the public (Bendrose Cottage before the cessation of operations) with perimeter fence TLDs placed at more frequent intervals (locations GC04-GC10).
  • GEHC use of three TLDs at each perimeter fence location to provides a robust radiation record of the location.
  • Hoses, reels and sacrificial coverings for airlines suits were clean tidy and in very good condition, ensuring good ongoing contamination control.
  • Local rules, designated area signage and maps were all in present and in good condition.
    Housekeeping was good throughout all facilities visited.