Office for Nuclear Regulation

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To conduct a LC11 compliance inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This intervention was undertaken on 9 – 10 June 2015 at Sellafield Limited’s (SL) Sellafield nuclear licensed site in Cumbria, and focussed on the Magnox Reprocessing Medium Active Evaporation and Thermal Denitration (MA Evaporation and TDN) Plant.

Inspection of Licence Condition (LC) compliance at nuclear licensed sites forms a significant part of ONR’s activities.  ONR’s Sellafield Programme has defined a programme of system inspections and LC compliance inspections to be undertaken on the Sellafield site, this is a key aspect of ONR’s regulatory strategy (for the Sellafield site).  Undertaking this intervention is consistent with this strategy, and is identified on ONR’s PP4 inspection plan which covers Sellafield Limited’s Magnox Operating Unit.  The MA Evaporation and TDN plant was selected for this intervention because there are significant on and off-site consequences arising from certain fault scenarios identified in the plant safety case.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

LC11 ‘Emergency Arrangements’ requires the licensee to make and implement adequate arrangements for dealing with any accident or emergency arising on the site and their effects.

I completed a LC11 compliance inspection in accordance with the following ONR guidance:

I undertook the inspection over a two day period, discussing the emergency arrangements with a number of SL staff, observing a drill of the arrangements and undertaking a plant walk down. 

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A.  This was not a safety system inspection.

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

I undertook an inspection within the MA Evaporation and TDN plant, part of Magnox Reprocessing, to examine the implementation of SL’s arrangement for LC11 compliance. I inspected an emergency drill which I judged to be an adequate demonstration of the emergency response capability, specifically associated with achieving a prompt evacuation of the MA Evaporation and TDN plant in response to a criticality incident in the MA evaporator.

From my observations regarding the drill and supporting documentation, it is my opinion that there is a robust Emergency Preparedness & Response (EP&R) capability within Magnox Reprocessing. Some of the known shortfalls in the corporate (Sellafield Limited) EP&R arrangements have been addressed within the Magnox Reprocessing arrangements. Based on my sample, Magnox Reprocessing is meeting the key EP&R performance targets required by the corporate arrangements.

From my inspection of the drill etc., I identified a number of worthwhile improvements that should be made to the emergency instructions for criticality incident response in the plant. SL has accepted these and will update the emergency instructions accordingly.

Based on my sampling inspection; the MA Evaporation and TDN plant arrangements and capability adequately meet the expectations of LC11. Consequently, I judge an IIS rating of 3 (adequate) to be appropriate against LC11. 

Conclusion of Intervention

No issues were raised as a result of this intervention.  Based on the evidence gathered, no significant matters have been identified that are likely to impact on nuclear safety on the Sellafield site at this time.