Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Sellafield compliance inspection of LC4 and LC32

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This intervention, conducted at the Licensee’s Sellafield Limited (SL) Cumbria licensed site, was undertaken as part of the 2018/19 intervention plan and the Sellafield sub-division strategy.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I conducted two Licence Condition compliance inspections.

A LC 4 (“Restrictions on nuclear matter on the site”) compliance inspection, which focused on the implementation of the licensee’s arrangements to ensure that no nuclear matter is brought onto the site except in accordance with adequate arrangements made by the licensee for this purpose. The licensee shall also ensure that no nuclear matter is stored on the site except in accordance with adequate arrangements made by the licensee for this purpose. The inspection was undertaken within the Sellafield Decommissioning Directorate and more specifically focussed on the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo on Sellafield Ltd’s nuclear licensed site.

A LC 32 (“Accumulation of radioactive waste”) compliance inspection, which focused on the implementation of the licensee’s arrangements to minimise so far as is reasonably practicable the rate of production and total quantity of radioactive waste accumulated on the site at any time and for recording the waste so accumulated. The inspection was undertaken within the Sellafield Decommissioning Directorate and more specifically focussed on the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo on Sellafield Ltd’s nuclear licensed site.

This inspection was conducted to enable ONR to make a judgement as to the adequacy of the implementation of the licensee’s arrangements for compliance with the respective LCs.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable.

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

No matters were identified as requiring immediate regulatory attention during the conduct of the compliance inspection on both LC4 & LC32.

LC 4 Inspection

Nuclear matter takes only two forms within MSSS, firstly the MAGNOX swarf which has been stored in the silos for decades and the use of sealed sources for the calibration of radiometric devices. Retrievals of the swarf are not due to commence in this regulatory year and therefore remain undisturbed. The arrangements for the control of sealed sources were found to be robustly implemented. Therefore I identified no areas for improvement during the compliance inspection which warranted a regulatory issue.

LC 32 Inspection

The MSSS facility is currently going through a period of extreme change to commence retrievals: as a result the facility is generating an unprecedented volume of waste, alongside the management of a large number of work faces being operated by both contractors and Sellafield Limited. Overall the management of the waste being generated is adequate and the Licensee is continuing to improve its waste management. However, uncontrolled storage of material was prevalent away from the main thoroughfare due to poor general housekeeping.

The licensee, in some cases, was not able to provide evidence of training due to a loss of records when a new site training database was implemented.

I identified the following areas for improvement during the compliance inspection and these have been raised as Regulatory Issues which will be managed as part of normal regulatory business:

Conclusion of Intervention

The LC 4 compliance inspection concluded that the licensee has adequately implemented its arrangements for LC 4. I therefore consider, noting the ONR guidance on inspection ratings, that an inspection rating of Green (no formal action required) is merited here.

The LC 32 compliance inspection concluded that the licensee has adequately implemented its arrangements for LC 32. I therefore consider, noting the ONR guidance on inspection ratings, that an inspection rating of Green (no formal action required) is merited here.