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 SL's Package Management Roads and Railways (PMR&R) is adequately implementing the licensee's site-wide arrangements for compliance with Licence Condition 35 (LC35, Decommissioning). The PMR&R organisation provides a number of important roles (e.g. flask maintenance, transportation of radioactive materials) that support the safety of Sellafield operating facilities, including its high hazard and risk reduction work. This intervention focussed on inspecting the PMR&R organisation's Separation Flask Maintenance Facility.
The overall adequacy of SL's site-wide LC35 arrangements is considered separately in other ONR inspections.
LC35 requires the licensee to make and implement adequate arrangements for the decommissioning of any plant or process which may affect safety.
My inspection, which comprised discussions with licensee staff, examination of plant documentation, and inspection of its facilities, focussed on SL's arrangements to:
Not applicable; this was not a safety system based inspection.
I consider conducting this inspection has been timely and meaningful in focusing the licensee on its LC35 duties and responsibilities in PMR&R.
There were no significant findings identified during my inspection. Nevertheless, I consider it proportionate to raise a Regulatory Issue to track the licensee's establishment of a formal decommissioning strategy for its Separation Flask Maintenance Facility, based on SL's site-wide decommissioning arrangements.
I noted some areas of good practice, but also some minor areas for improvement that could reasonably be made; these were accepted by the licensee.
As I found no significant shortcomings I consider an inspection rating of Green (no formal action) is merited against LC35 as a result of this inspection.
My findings were shared with and accepted by the licensee as part of normal inspection feedback. I have raised one new Regulatory Issue, to track the licensee's establishment of a formal decommissioning strategy for its Separation Flask Maintenance Facility.