The Health & Safety Executive has published the findings of its Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) review of Magnox Electric's decommissioning strategy.
The review considers the technical — and some financial — aspects of Magnox Electric's strategy for decommissioning the nine Magnox stations: Berkeley, Bradwell, Dungeness A, Hinkley Point A, Hunterston A, Oldbury, Sizewell A, Trawsfynydd and Wylfa — and the Berkeley Centre. Of these, Berkeley, Hunterston A and Trawsfynydd are already being decommissioned and Hinkley Point A has shut down prior to decommissioning. Magnox Electric is part of the BNFL group, but it is still a separate nuclear site licencee under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965.
Though not mentioned in the report, the decommissioning strategy also applies to the Chapelcross and Calder Hall stations, which were transferred to Magnox Electric when it joined the BNFL group.
The key findings of the review include:
• Overall, the NII regards Magnox Electric's strategy to be appropriate at this time, being potentially flexible enough to accommodate lessons learned during ongoing decommissioning activities.
• The NII considers the technical aspects of Magnox Electric's proposals to be largely practical and feasible. At this time, on the basis of the information presented, Magnox Electric's provisioning for final dismantling after 85 years is considered to be reasonable.
• Generally the NII has found that Magnox Electric has identified the tasks required to fully decommission its sites.
• The review process aims to challenge the operator's decommissioning strategy assumptions every five years. In particular, one such challenge is how far the assumption that statutory requirements will be tightened in the future, for example on annual worker dose, will affect the timing of final dismantling.
• Should Magnox Electric be required to bring forward commencement of its station dismantling programme to significantly less than 70 years from end of operation, additional financing will be required unless predicted costs can be reduced proportionately.
• The review concluded that Magnox Electric's mechanism for quantifying its total liabilities is capable of determining the financial provisions required, subject to the full range of tasks and relevant factors being identified.