Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Sellafield - IRR99 Inspection of Effluents & Encapsulation Plants Operating Unit

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report presents the findings of a planned intervention that was undertaken at the at the Sellafield nuclear licensed sites in order to assess Sellafield Limited's (SL) compliance with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99) within the Effluents & Encapsulation (E&E) operating unit.  The intervention was part of ONR's 2016-2017 planned programme of inspections of the Waste and Effluent Disposition Directorate (WEDD), within the Operational Waste facilities Plan, PP5.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The intervention consisted of: an examination of arrangements for restriction of exposure, designation of areas, dealing with contingencies, and training of personnel; inspection of controlled areas within the Magnox Encapsulation Plant (MEP); and inspection of controlled areas within Salt Evaporator and Medium Active Storage (SEMAS) and the export of spent filters from a C3 designated area within the Low Activity Effluent Management Group (LAEMG).  I examined in detail the radioactive source store within MEP and the implementation of controls over the use of radioactive sources.  I also examined a range of documentation, including local rules, reviews of area classifications and reviews of worker radiation doses during the intervention.

IRR99 is primarily concerned with ensuring that work with ionising radiations is conducted safely.  I assessed the adequacy of SL's arrangements for the control of work with ionising radiations, focussing on compliance within the E&E operating unit with the following aspects of IRR99:

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A.  This intervention did not include a safety system inspection.

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

Based on the work areas and work activities examined, I found that arrangements for the control of work with ionising radiations within the E&E operating unit were adequate.  In particular:

Local Rules contained appropriate information and were prominently displayed at the required locations.

I considered the reviews of area classifications and worker doses, which I examined, to be adequate and these identified appropriate recommendations.

I considered the arrangements for the control, storage and accountancy of radioactive sources to be robust.

My visit was supported by the Sellafield Limited Internal Regulator and both parties agreed that a joint inspection approach added value to the intervention.  

Conclusion of Intervention

From what I observed and examined, SL's arrangements for the control of work with ionising radiations and their implementation indicate that there are no shortfalls of compliance with IRR99 within the Effluents & Encapsulation operating unit. Consequently, I have rated the intervention as Green (No formal action).