Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Sellafield - High Level Waste Plants (HLWP) - LC7 Compliance inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all regulatory interaction with the Sellafield site licensee (Sellafield Limited, SL) against a strategy defined by the ONR Sellafield Sub Division. In accordance with that strategy, Licence Condition (LC) compliance inspections were carried out on the Operational Waste Facilities Operating Unit (OU), as planned, in June 2018. 

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

On 21 June 2018, I, the site inspector for the operational waste facilities, carried out a planned licence condition compliance inspection of the High Level Waste Plants (HLWP).  The purpose of this inspection was for the ONR to determine the adequacy of implementation of the licensee’s formal arrangements for compliance with LC7 (incidents on site) with respect to the recording, monitoring and close out of any actions arising out of event investigations.  These inspections comprised of discussions with SL staff and reviews of investigations and other documentation.

I also conducted follow up enquires on a recent event which occurred in HLWP and was subsequently reported under INF1 2018/398.   

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 implementation of any part of the safety case.

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

Prior to the LC7 inspection, I undertook a review of the relevant Sellafield procedure against the ONR guidance document for LC7, NS-INSP-GD-007 Revision 4.  From the areas sampled, I did not identify any significant shortfalls in the licensee’s formal arrangements for compliance with LC7 which would prompt an inspection of these arrangements earlier than currently planned. 

In order to judge the adequacy of the implementation of these arrangements, I identified a number of recent events which SL provided the investigation reports for in advance of this inspection.  I then reviewed the evidence for monitoring and close out of the actions arising out of these investigations.

From the sample I reviewed, I judged that the actions identified were appropriately managed and adequate closure statements were presented and recorded on the company database.  I did however identify some areas for potential improvement. These related to the use of the company database for actions outside of investigations and the process for extending the due dates of actions which advised the facility on accordingly. Notwithstanding this, I was satisfied that the actions are being appropriately raised, tracked and closed. 

I therefore judged that the licensee has adequately implemented its arrangements for recording, monitoring and close out of any actions arising out of event investigations under Licence Condition 7 (incidents on site).  I therefore consider that the required standard was met and an inspection rating of Green (No Formal Action) is merited.

As a result of my follow up enquiries on the event reported under INF1 2018/398 I am satisfied that SL are taking the appropriate actions to address any learning and that the event does not meet the ONR formal investigation criteria.

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

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence gathered during this intervention, I do not consider there to be any matters that have the potential to impact significantly on nuclear safety.    

At present, no additional regulatory action is needed over and above the planned interventions within the Operational Waste Facilities Operating Unit at the Sellafield Nuclear Site as set out in the Integrated Intervention Strategy, which will continue as planned.