Imperial College has operated a CONSORT type research reactor at their reactor centre in Ascot, Berkshire since the early 1960s. The reactor is currently undergoing decommissioning. Prior to decommissioning commencing, the reactor's fuel had to be removed and sent for safe storage to restrict the risks from decommissioning. A safety case had to be developed and negotiate due process before this task could begin.
Orano Projects Limited produced the overarching safety report and the 18 separate documents in the safety case support file. Specialists in nuclear safety assurance, human factors and criticality assessment were deployed. All documents were subjected to detailed independent peer review and the safety report was also submitted for consideration by the Reactor Centre Nuclear Safety Committee. In 2014, having received peer review, nuclear safety committee and regulatory approval, the safety case was adopted and the commissioning and defuelling operations completed safely and to schedule.
"The quality of work supplied by Orano Projects Limited was to a very high standard, with significant attention to detail being supplied by the project manager and lead author. This enabled the safety case to pass through both the internal and regulatory approval process with the minimum of iterations communications between Orano Projects Limited and Imperial College London were clear at all times, leading to an excellent working relationship."
Trevor Chambers, Head of Imperial College Reactor Centre