Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned licence compliance inspection covering LC12 and LC26

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 conditions (LC) 12 - Duly Authorised and other Suitably Qualified and Experienced Persons and 26 - Control; and Supervision of Operations, at the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) at Sellafield.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

ONR Inspectors carried out planned compliance inspections against licence conditions 12 and 26. In addition, the Site Inspector had a progress meeting regarding regulatory issues. The latter intervention is 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 12 Inspection

From the inspection sample the ONR inspectors found that Thorp are continuing in the process of replacing a number of extant Duly Authorised Persons (DAPs) roles with Appointed Suitably Qualified and Experienced Persons (ASQEPs) roles. This is in line with the SL corporate requirements and the duty holder expects to have completed this by the end of February 2017. The records for the appointment/ reappointment of a number of DAPs were sampled and were found to be compliant with SL corporate requirements. The duty holder provided confirmation that ASQEPs would only be appointed when they had completed their training or an appropriate waver justification made.

LC 26 Inspection

From the inspection sample the ONR inspectors found that Thorp has produced a Control and Supervision baseline in line with SL corporate requirements. By observing two sets of shift handover (from outgoing to incoming DAPs and the subsequent team shift brief) the ONR inspectors gained confidence that operations that may affect safety are carried out under the control and supervision of Suitably Qualified and Experienced Persons (SQEPs). This was reinforced by observing a Thorp Plant Operations Control Centre daily meeting. In addition, a Superintending Officer who oversees contractors undertaking maintenance on nuclear safety significant equipment was judged by the ONR inspectors to have demonstrated a sound understanding of their control and supervision responsibilities as identified in SL corporate requirements.

Conclusion of Intervention

On the basis of the evidence gathered during the inspection, we judge that inspection ratings of GREEN are appropriate for compliance against both LCs. This is because we found SL to have adequately implemented its corporate arrangements for these LCs. Minor areas for improvement will be taken forward as part of routine regulatory business.