Office for Nuclear Regulation

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The Magnox Swarf Storage Silo (MSSS) on the Sellafield Ltd. nuclear licensed site

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

ONR has previously permissioned four construction (mobile) crane lifting operations at Sellafield Ltd’s (SL’s) Magnox Swarf Storage Silo (MSSS) facility. The nature of the permissioning process means that permission is given in advance of operations and, for construction cranes, in advance of the crane being brought onto site.  This inspection was carried out as part of ONR’s regulatory control and oversight of MSSS construction crane lifting operations in progress, to confirm that the licensee’s arrangements derived from its safety case for such lifting operations are being adequately implemented. The inspection supports delivery of objective 2 of ONRs Sellafield subdivision strategy in that construction crane lifting operations form an enabler for hazard and risk reduction activities.

This LC26 inspection has examined SL’s control and supervision of operations on an “in progress” lifting operation, in particular inspecting the licensee’s internal arrangements for independent oversight by the construction crane safety committee (CCSC).

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

On the 14 June 2018 I carried out a planned license condition 26 (control and supervision of operations) compliance inspection on the construction crane lifting operations being under taken in support of the installation of ventilation plant on the Lateral Restraint Tower (LRT) of the licensee’s MSSS facility.  The focus of the inspection was to examine the robustness of the licensee’s CCSC undertaking an independent audit of lifting operations.

Due to weather constraints on the day of this inspection, no lifting operations were physically taking place. This has not affected my inspection conclusions as I consider there was sufficient access to the worksite for inspection, lifting operations personnel were available for interview and sufficient documentary evidence and records were available to form a judgement.

The intervention was performed in line with ONR's guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides) in the areas inspected.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

This was not a system based inspection, and therefore no judgement has been made of the adequacy of safety systems as part of the safety case.

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

I witnessed the licensee’s CCSC representative – the Principle Lifting Engineer (PLE) - undertaking an independent audit of construction crane lifting operations. I was satisfied that the CCSC audit provided a suitable level of independent oversight of MSSS construction cranes operations. 

The CCSC audit scope follows a predefined template covering topics such as;  verification of the crane proposal (CP) validity, whether the limits and conditions of safe operation are being followed, lift planning, set up checks, management of operations and consideration of previous learning from experience. I noted that the PLE inquiries were not constrained to the template, following professional judgement as appropriate.  I consider this approach appropriate and prevents the audit becoming a “tick box” exercise.

  I consider that the audit was conducted in a professional manner, with the PLE asking open questions, providing a good degree of challenge and seeking a balance of evidence based between records check, observations, physical checks, inquiry and confirmation.

There were no significant findings identified during my inspection, and I have not raised any associated Regulatory Issues.

Conclusion of Intervention

On the basis of the evidence sampled at the time of the inspection, I judge the licensee has adequately implemented arrangements that demonstrate compliance to licence condition 26 (control and supervision of operations) with respect to CCSC oversight. I therefore consider that the required standard has been met and an inspection rating of Green (No Formal Action) is merited.