Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Sellafield - LC11 Inspection Emergency Arrangements in SR&DP

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This intervention was to inspect the Emergency Arrangements in the Sellafield Decommissioning Division Site Remediation and Decommissioning Projects (SR&DP). This area was selected as it has not received the same level of focus as the legacy ponds and silos in recent inspections. This inspection is identified on the Sellafield PP3 Inspection plan which covers the Decommissioning Division.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I carried out an inspection of the Emergency Arrangements in the Sellafield Site Remediation & Decommissioning Projects (SR&DP) within the Decommissioning Division. This inspection was carried out in accordance with ONR's inspection guidance for Licence Condition 11 (LC11) for Emergency Arrangements as defined in NS-INSP-GD-011.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A - This was not a Safety Systems inspection.

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

I was satisfied that SR&DP has established and implemented Emergency Arrangements which meet the requirements of Licence Condition 11.

Before the inspection I met with a Safety Representative to gain an impression of the workforce views of the Emergency Arrangements. He confirmed that the workforce were satisfied that they knew what to do in emergency situations, and that the command and control structure was adequate. However he suggested there were opportunities to improve feedback from exercises to aid learning amongst staff.

Although the Emergency Arrangements within SR&DP are not yet as mature as those seen in the Legacy Ponds and Silos (LP&S), the licensee has conducted a gap analysis for all significant SR&DP plants against the improved LP&S arrangements and has concluded the existing arrangements are broadly adequate with only minor gaps. Sellafield Limited has developed plans to improve the arrangements in SR&DP and align them to the arrangements in place across the other areas of the Decommissioning Division.

I consider it proportionate that the licensee has previously focussed on embedding the new Emergency Arrangements in the higher hazard LP&S plants, and I am satisfied that Sellafield Limited now has plans to implement equivalent arrangements to the remaining plants, and to implement the Emergency Management Improvement Plan consistently across the Decommissioning Division.

I reviewed the programme for exercises and drills for 2013-2015 and judged the frequency and series of topics covered by these plans to be adequate. I sampled the reports from recent exercises and found these to be clear and complete records.

I examined the specific arrangements for the Active Handling Facility and judged this to be adequate. A joint approach has been adopted, with both Sellafield Limited and National Nuclear Laboratory staff being appointed to key roles; exercise schedules and training materials are jointly developed. I sampled a number of Active Handling Facility emergency procedures, which were all found to be adequate

Overall governance of the Emergency Arrangements and plans across the Decommissioning Division was judged to be adequate.

Conclusion of Intervention

Overall, I judged compliance to Licence Condition 11 to be adequate. Sellafield Limited recognise there is scope to improve the SR&DP arrangements, and has committed plans in place to address this, so no specific actions were placed as a result of this inspection. The development of these arrangements will be followed as part of routine regulatory business.