Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Readiness Inspection on Sellafield Ltd FGMSP decanner roof replacement

Executive summary

On 13 January 2020 ONR undertook an inspection of Sellafield Limited’s (SL’s) readiness to deploy and operate a Self Erecting Tower Crane to support the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond (FGMSP) Decanner bay roof replacement. These crane lifts are required to remove the old asbestos roof material and install the new Kalzip sheeting.

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of the inspection was to examine the adequacy of SL’s implementation of its crane safety case and crane proposal developed under its Licence Condition (LC) 22 arrangements.  The intention was to gain assurance that SL is ready to safely commence project implementation for the deployment and operation of the crane.  The findings of the inspection will be used to inform the decision in response to SL’s request for ONR’s agreement to commence the lifting operations. 

FGMSP was built in the 1950s for the purpose of receipt, storage and preparation of Magnox fuel for reprocessing.  By 1998 operations had ceased and the facility was placed under a control and surveillance regime, although it continued to be used as a storage facility.  FGMSP is an ageing facility that contains significant volumes of historical inventory including various fuels, radioactive sludge and other solid wastes. One of the activities identified to improve the integrity of FGMSP is to replace the decanner bay roof.  This will provide improved weather protection for the bays, as well as routing rainwater away from the pond.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

Licence Condition 22 requires the licensee to make and implement arrangements to control any modification or experiment carried out on any part of existing plant or process which may affect safety.  This inspection focused on arrangements to prepare the plant, processes and people, and to assess the licensee’s readiness to safely commence the deployment and operation of the crane in accordance with the safety case.

Prior to the inspection I obtained a copy of the Plant Modification Proposal, associated safety case documentation and the Crane Proposal. I used these to inform my preparation and define my sampling strategy. I also obtained the licensee’s arrangements for controlling plant modifications and crane proposals. During the inspection I sought assurance from SL’s own internal governance process and confirmed that the licensee has followed this. The inspection comprised desktop-based discussions and evidence review and a visit to the crane compound to inspect and observe the crane.

The inspection was undertaken against LC 22 in accordance with ONR guidance Technical Inspection Guide (TIG) NS-INSP-GD-022, LC22: Modification or experiment on existing plant, Revision 4, January 2018. I also considered the requirements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) during my inspection.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A – This was not a Systems Based Inspection.

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

During the inspection I examined evidence of the licensee’s compliance with its arrangements for the control of modifications to existing plant, including safety cases to justify the proposals. I also inspected correct implementation of the construction crane arrangements and lift planning in accordance with LOLER . On the basis of my inspection, I am satisfied that the licensee has adequately implemented its arrangements to ensure sufficient control for the safe deployment and operation of the crane.

With respect to ONR’s TIG NS-INSP-GD-022, SL demonstrated that:

During the inspection, the following observations were made:

Conclusion of Intervention

I judged that the LC22 arrangements as implemented by SL related to the crane safety case to be adequate.

Some minor points of clarification were raised by ONR during the inspection and the SL personnel took an action to follow these up as part of the internal regulators Readiness Review and to provide the necessary clarification to ONR before the first lifts.