Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned inspection at Sellafield

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

In accordance with the Office for Nuclear Regulation's (ONR's) Sellafield Strategy, each year ONR performs a series of planned compliance inspections of core licence conditions targeting those facilities with the potential to give rise to off-site effects to the public.

This planned, core licence condition inspection was carried out to assess Sellafield Ltd.'s (SL's) compliance with licence condition (LC) 11 - emergency arrangements and licence condition (LC) 22 - modification or experiment on existing plant, at the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) at Sellafield and the Oxide Fuel Storage Group (OFSG).

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I carried out a one day licence compliance inspection against licence condition 11 and a half day inspection against licence condition 22. In addition, I held a routine information sharing meeting with a representative of SL's Nuclear Independent Oversite, and a progress meeting regarding some Regulatory Issues. The latter two interventions are not detailed further in this executive summary.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A as this was not a safety systems inspection.

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

LC 11 Inspection

From the inspection sample I have seen evidence that: Thorp and OFSG are making and maintaining local arrangements (including the introduction of a local manual), they have a drill and exercise plan that has been developed in a structured manner and that is being implemented in a timely manner, opportunities for learning are being appropriately identified both via the post exercise reports and the annual report, the emergency management dashboard is being refined and appears an effective way of managing and governing, and emergency facilities and equipment are being maintained.

As part of continuous improvement, Thorp and OFSG have identified in their annual review report a number of improvements they wish to implement during 2017/18. Also as part of the post Fukushima resilience project Thorp are looking to have completed hand-over of both the small are larger mobile diesel generators by the end of the financial year. As recognised by Thorp, they need to continue to plan and prepare for the implications on LC 11 arrangements of moving into Post Operational Clean Out (POCO).

LC 22 Inspection

I found SL to be broadly compliant with its corporate arrangements, and that it has continued to deliver on the improvements identified in last year's LC 22 inspection. In particular evidence was seen that Thorp and OFSG have been categorising PMPs appropriately, they are effectively controlling live and overdue PMPs, and are continuing to make significant reductions to the backlog of overdue PMPs. The backlog has been entirely removed for temporary PMPs.

I would encourage Thorp and OFSG to continue their engagements with Corporate Training to ensure that a sufficient number of new PMP Managers can be trained for current and likely future demands during Thorp POCO.

Conclusion of Intervention

On the basis of the evidence gathered during the inspection, I judge that inspection ratings of GREEN are appropriate for compliance against both LC 11 (Emergency arrangements) and LC 22 (modification or experiment on existing plant). This is because I found SL to have effectively implemented its corporate arrangements for these LCs.