Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Sellafield - Effluents and Encapsulation Plants (E&EP)

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 December 2018. 

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

On 11th December 2018, I, a SDFW Site Inspector, accompanied by the Site Inspector for the Operational Waste Facilities, carried out a planned licence condition compliance inspection of the Effluents and Encapsulation Plants (E&EP).  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 the site).  The inspection comprised of discussions with SL staff and reviews of plant records and other documentation.

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 

For the LC7 compliance inspection I targeted the process for recording, monitoring and close out of actions arising out of investigations.   In order to judge the adequacy of the implementation of this aspect of the LC7 arrangements within E&EP, I sampled a number of previous events which had been reported to ONR under the LC7 process.  In particular I looked at the timely management of the actions, the quality of the close out statements and the auditable trail leading to the closure.

In general I was satisfied that the appropriate actions were being raised, tracked and closed as per the SL arrangements.  There were some areas for improvement identified during the compliance inspection and I advised the facility accordingly.

Notwithstanding these, overall I judge that, on the basis of evidence sampled at the time of this inspection, the licensee has adequately implemented its arrangements for compliance with Licence Condition 7 (Incidents on the site).  I therefore consider that the required standard was met and an inspection rating of Green (No Formal Action) is merited.

The intervention was performed in line with ONR’s guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides), which can be found at www.onr.org.uk/operational/tech_insp_guides/index.htm 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.