Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Inspection of Licence Condition 15 (periodic review of safety cases) in Encapsulated Product Store 2 at Sellafield

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all regulatory interaction with the Sellafield site licensee (Sellafield Limited (SL)) against a strategy defined by the Sellafield, Decommissioning, Fuel and Waste (SDFW) Programme.  Under that strategy, ONR conducts interventions with SL to determine the adequacy of its Long Term Periodic Review (LTPR) process, focussing on those plants on the site that are most important to safety.

This intervention was part of ONR’s programme of planned inspections at Sellafield and looked at the adequacy of the LTPR undertaken by SL for its second Encapsulated Product Store (EPS2).

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

Licence Condition 15 requires SL to make and implement adequate arrangements for the periodic and systematic review and reassessment of safety cases.  I led a team of ONR specialist inspectors from the Mechanical Engineering, Fault Studies, Human Factors and Nuclear Liabilities specialisms looking at SL’s compliance with LC15 at EPS2.  Our inspection, which included discussions with SL staff, inspection of plant documentation and plant walkdowns, applied ONR’s guidance on LC15 inspections and the content and conduct of Periodic Safety Reviews.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A.  This was not a System Based Inspection (SBI).

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

This was an effective intervention, which benefitted from open dialogue and good cooperation between all parties. The inspection determined that SL had undertaken an effective and pragmatic LTPR.

Whilst undertaking this LTPR, SL identified six actions, none of which were considered to be substantive safety case shortfalls. SL reported progress against all of these actions and that three had been closed at the time of my inspection.

My inspection did not reveal any matters of substantive concern that had not already been identified and were being addressed by the licensee following its own review, or were already being progressed as part of its routine business. The inspection did, however, identify some wider areas for resolution relating to the licensee’s management of radioactive waste and the timeliness of its implementation of minor safety improvements.  These matters will be followed up by ONR as part of routine regulatory business.

Conclusion of Intervention

Based on the sample examined, I consider that SL has carried out an adequate LTPR of EPS2. Consequently, I awarded an inspection rating of Green (no formal action) against LC15.

As part of its LC15 arrangements, SL will produce a Confirmation of Safety Letter (COSL) to confirm the facility has adequately implemented the LTPR and that it considers risks have been reduced to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).  I have raised three Regulatory Issues (RIs) to capture the wider areas for resolution identified in this inspection and to ensure their timely resolution by SL.