Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Compliance Inspection of Licence Conditions 27 and 28 at the Waste Treatment Complex and associated intelligence gathering meetings

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all regulatory interactions with Sellafield Limited (SL), the site licensee, against a strategy defined by the ONR Sellafield Programme. The planned inspection schedule for the current regulatory year (covering April 2016 to March 2017), the content of which is guided by that strategy, identifies the Licence Conditions (LCs) that will be inspected over this period.

This purpose of this inspection was for ONR to determine the adequacy of implementation of SL arrangements for compliance with LC 27 (Safety Mechanisms, Devices and Circuits) and LC 28 (Examination, Inspection, Maintenance and Testing (EIMT)) at the Waste Treatment Complex (WTC), a facility within the Solid Waste Operating Unit (OU). The WTC was identified for this inspection as it has the largest inventory of designated safety related equipment requiring EIMT within the Solid Waste OU.

In addition, several intelligence gathering meetings were planned with SL representatives from the Solid Waste, HALES and High Level Waste Plant (HLWP) OUs to discuss progress with the delivery of actions generated as a result of extant Regulatory Issues.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

As part of the preparation and delivery of this LC 27 and LC 28 compliance inspection, the following ONR inspection guidance was used:

From the 13 to 14 April 2016, I held intelligence gathering meetings with the Solid Waste, HALES and HLWP OU's to discuss progress with the delivery of actions generated as a result of extant Regulatory Issues.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable; this was not a Safety System inspection.

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

During the compliance inspection, I identified one administrative shortfall, accepted by Sellafield Ltd, associated with the introduction of new safety mechanisms and, in particular, the process to demonstrate that proof-testing and maintenance has been conducted and recorded within their arrangements before the safety mechanism is first introduced into service.

Overall, however, I consider that, from the evidence sampled, the licensee has adequately identified the safety mechanisms, devices and circuits necessary to demonstrate compliance with LC 27. It is also my opinion that those arrangements necessary to demonstrate compliance with LC 28 have been adequately implemented.

I consider that Sellafield Ltd has adequately complied with all legal duties associated with LC 27 and LC 28 and that there are only limited opportunities for further ALARP improvements. Therefore, it is my opinion that a 'GREEN' (No Formal action) inspection rating is merited against LC 27 and LC 28.

During the HALES OU intelligence gathering meeting, evidence was presented which described the plans for long term steam system improvements. Although the project for these improvements appeared well managed, I considered it necessary to generate a Regulatory Issue to ensure sustained regulatory oversight of the delivery is maintained.

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence sampled during the compliance inspection, I judge that Sellafield Ltd.'s formal arrangements for compliance with LC27 and LC28 are being adequately implemented.

The intelligence gathering meetings provided me with an opportunity to examine progress with the delivery of actions generated as a result of extant Regulatory Issues. I was broadly satisfied with the progress SL are making with closure of Regulatory Issues pertinent to the Solid Waste, HALES and HLWP OUs.