Office for Nuclear Regulation

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LC 28 Inspection - Sellafield Site Wide Infrastructure; Utilities, on Sellafield Ltd.'s nuclear licensed site at Sellafield, Cumbria

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, Decommissioning, Fuel and Waste (SDFW) Programme. The planned inspection schedule for the current regulatory year (covering April 2016 - March 2017), the content of which is guided by that strategy, identifies the Licence Conditions (LCs) that will be inspected over this period.

This planned intervention was undertaken to determine if the Infrastructure organisation is adequately implementing SL's site-wide arrangements for compliance with Licence Condition 28 (Examination, inspection, maintenance and testing) within Utilities, focussed on the water supply provision to the licensed site. The reliable provision of water to the Sellafield site is important to ensure the safe operation of facilities important to nuclear safety, as well as facilitating hazard and risk reduction activities on the site.

This inspection has targeted the implementation of SL's site-wide arrangements for Licence Condition 28 by the Infrastructure organisation. The adequacy of SL's site-wide arrangements more generally is considered in other inspections.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

Licence Condition 28 (LC28) requires the licensee to make and implement adequate arrangements for the regular and systematic examination, inspection, maintenance and testing of all plant which may affect safety.

My inspection, which comprised discussions with SL staff, examination of plant documentation, and inspection of facilities and equipment, focussed on the following areas:

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

I consider the implementation of the licensee's arrangements for LC 28 within the Utilities organisation, focussed on the provision of the site wide water supply, is good in some areas. For instance there was good evidence in relation to general situational awareness regarding the status of the system from an ongoing operational perspective, and also the need for improvements to asset care going forwards. This is, however, offset by a number of shortfalls. In particular, SL should review and update the Plant Maintenance Schedule to ensure it correctly reflects the present safety case, and all necessary items important to safety, for the water supply and distribution system. SL should also ensure that appropriate attention is given to asset care within the Water Treatment Plant, which supplies demineralised water for steam production, with reference to life expectancy, reliability, maintenance, spares, obsolescence, and configuration.

For these reasons, on balance, I consider an Inspection rating of Amber (Seek Improvement) is merited against LC 28 as a result of this inspection.

Conclusion of Intervention

My findings were shared with, and accepted by, the licensee as part of normal inspection feedback. I have raised two new Regulatory Issues as a result of this inspection. One issue relates to the need to review and update the Plant Maintenance Schedule, and the other to ensure adequate attention is paid to the condition of the Water Treatment Plant going forwards.