Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Special Nuclear Materials Operating Unit (SNM (OU)) LC12 and LC26 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, Decommissioning, Fuel and Waste (SDFW) Division. In accordance with that strategy, two Licence Condition (LC) compliance inspections of the Special Nuclear Materials Operating Unit (SNM OU) was carried out, as planned in July 2018.

The purpose of these planned inspections was for ONR to determine the adequacy of implementation of the licensee’s formal arrangements for compliance with LC12 (Duly authorised and other suitably qualified and experienced persons) and LC 26 (Control and supervision of operations). For the inspection, I focused on the evidence for compliance within Special Nuclear Material - North (SNM (N)) facility.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

On 24 & 25 July 2018, I, the site inspector for the SNM OU, accompanied by an ONR Human Factors Specialist undertook a planned LC12 and LC26 licence condition inspection within the SNM (N) facility.

The inspection comprised discussions with SL personnel, and reviews of SL records, documents and processes, followed by a plant walk down and attendance at the morning Plant Operation Control Centre (POCC).

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable; this was not a safety system based inspection.

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

During the inspection, I sampled evidence associated with SNM (N) compliance with LC12 and LC26.

For LC12, I sampled documents for appointing Duly Authorised Persons and Suitably Qualified and Experienced Persons, as well as the job description for several DAP roles. I also reviewed a training register and an item of training material. During the plant walk down, I interviewed the shift DAP to ensure that they understood their role and responsibility.

For LC26, I reviewed several work packs created to be completed within the week. I sampled role descriptions and interviewed staff to ensure that it was understood that only DAPs had control over work affecting nuclear safety. During the plant walk down, I reviewed control of work (and access) to stores containing nuclear material. 

I observed the Plant Operation Control Centre shift team meeting. Information about the last 24 hours and the current state of the plant was conveyed succinctly by the DAP. An issue with work was identified and subsequently resolved within the team. The meeting showed good communication between team members.

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

I am of the opinion that SL, as the licensee, has adequately implemented its arrangements for compliance with the licensee’s conditions LC12 and LC 26.

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 consider that the licensee is compliant with its legal duties under LC12 and LC26 and therefore, it is my opinion that an inspection rating of Green (no formal action) is merited.

My findings were shared with and accepted by the licensee as part of normal inspection feedback. I have not raised any Regulatory Issues as a result of this inspection.