Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Sellafield - Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99) Inspection of Waste Vitrification Plant at Sellafield

This intervention was carried out under old site licence 31G - 103 came into effect 1 April 2017.

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report presents the findings of a planned intervention that was undertaken at the Sellafield nuclear licensed site in order to assess Sellafield Limited’s (SL) compliance with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99) within the Waste Vitrification Plant (WVP).  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; and inspection of controlled areas within the Waste Vitrification Plant including the control of radioactive sealed sources within the WVP’s radioactive source store.  I also examined a range of documentation, including local rules, building emergency procedures, and also undertook 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 WVP 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 Waste Vitrification Plant were adequate.  In particular:

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

A recent review of Local Rules has included the consolidation of a large number of very similar location specific documents into a small number of local rules that are specific to the hazards within such areas and the measures required to control these hazards, resulting in a significant reduction in the administrative burden placed on radiological protection personnel within the facility.

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

Conclusion of Intervention

From what I observed and examined during the course of the inspection, 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 Waste Vitrification Plant. Consequently, I have rated the intervention as Green (No formal action).