Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned Licence Compliance 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 selected licence conditions, targeted at those facilities with significant importance to nuclear safety.

Two such licence condition inspections were carried out to assess Sellafield Ltd.'s (SL's) compliance with licence condition (LC) 24 - Operating Instructions and LC36 - Organisational Capability.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

ONR Inspectors carried out planned compliance inspections against licence conditions 24 and 36. In addition, I held a routine information sharing meeting with a representative of SL's Nuclear Independent Oversight, and two ONR Inspectors attended a familiarisation visit to Thorp and the associated receipt and storage building. The latter 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 24 Inspection

From the inspection sample I found that the Thorp Control Room Operators had a sound understanding of the requirements to work to the different types of Operator Instructions and completing associated Compliance Record Sheets. Operator Instructions for both the Oxide Fuel Storage Group (OFSG) and Thorp were being reviewed and reformatted in a timely manner in accordance with corporate requirements. In addition, since the last inspection the number of Operator Aids had been streamlined and they were now subject to appropriate configuration control. OFSG and Thorp Senior Management were using Learning from Experience and their own oversight/inspection activities to evaluate the effectives of the Operator Instructions.

LC 36 Inspections

From the inspection sample I found that Thorp and OFSG are maintaining the nuclear baseline and using it as a basis to manage resources. I also found that they are; raising, appropriately categorising and implementing Management of Organisational Changes in line with site-wide requirements. In addition, evidence was seen from an unannounced element of the inspection that Thorp are effectively managing requirements relating to Minimum Safety Manning Levels. With regard to the management of the organisational changes associated with Thorp Post Operational Clean Out I advised SL to consider the benefits of producing a 'Paper of Principle' for this change as expected in its arrangements.

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 LCs. This is because I found SL to have adequately implemented its corporate arrangements for these LCs.