Office for Nuclear Regulation

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LC12, LC27 and LC36 inspections

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

A compliance inspection was carried out on the 8th to 10th April 2014 to examine the arrangements, and their implementation, on relevant plutonium manufacturing facilities (PMF). The inspection covered PMF(N) and PMF(S) facilities and examined compliance with:

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

A programme of meetings was held to discuss the arrangements for compliance with the three licence conditions listed above.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


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

The key findings of the inspection are that:

Arrangements for LC 12 compliance were good. All established duly authorised persons (DAPS) were all up to date and completed their SQEP training, with an additional 10 currently in training. The arrangements for training have been improved and re-issued to remove bureaucracy and improve effectiveness. These new arrangements had been implemented on 1st April 2014 and were clearly owned and run by the facility managers with good records being kept of the training of individuals. The training material, forms and records were all of good quality, correctly filled in, properly signed and recorded.

Compliance with LC 27 Safety Mechanisms Devices and Circuits is not adequate. The systems devices and circuits fitted are captured in procedures and safety case documentation, however unavailability of the plant is adversely affecting their testing and maintenance. PMF(N) ventilation systems in particular require attention as a priority issue. A ventilation project has been implemented by Sellafield Ltd. to deliver a significant improvement in these systems.

Arrangements for compliance with LC 36 are generally good overall with time served competent and knowledgeable staff and excellent training for DAPS and suitably qualified and experienced personnel (SQEP). There is however a particular problem with PMF (S) Electrical and Instrumentation (E&I) maintenance team under-manning that requires immediate attention to avoid a serious situation developing due to under-maintenance of the plant.

Conclusion of Intervention

The conclusions of this intervention are:

Arrangements for compliance with LC12 are satisfactory with good practice being demonstrated by the training section.

Arrangements, e.g. access to plant items, for compliance with LC27 in PMF (N) facilities do not meet modern standards and the state of the building ventilation system is a matter of serious concern. It is my opinion that the ventilation project to address this issue is given priority attention.

Arrangements for compliance with LC36 within PMF facilities appear satisfactory, however, a particular problem exists at the current time regarding the staffing of the E&I maintenance team that requires addressing before the backlog of maintenance escalates to an unmanageable level.

Specific issues have been raised regarding the PMF (N) building ventilation systems and PMF(S) backlog of maintenance.