Sellafield Site Benchmark Inspection of LC13: Nuclear Safety Committee arrangements
- Site: Sellafield - DEC
- IR number: 14-101
- Date: July 2014
- LC numbers: 13
Purpose of intervention
This inspection forms part of a rolling programme of benchmark inspections at the Sellafield site covering all applicable licence conditions over a 5 year period. The purpose of benchmark inspections is to confirm the adequacy of the licensee's arrangements against the expectations detailed in ONR's Technical Assessment Guides and Technical Inspection Guides and any relevant good practice.
Interventions Carried Out by ONR
Benchmark inspections are focussed on assessing the adequacy of Sellafield Ltd's arrangements in complying with its Site Licence. This inspection assessed the adequacy of arrangements for complying with Licence Condition 13 (Nuclear Safety Committee).
The inspection consisted of reviewing the documented arrangements against ONR guidance, interviewing relevant Sellafield Limited personnel and attending a Sellafield Limited Nuclear Safety Committee (SLNSC) meeting.
Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate
Not applicable - this was not a Safety System Inspection
Key Findings, Inspector's Opinions and Reasons for Judgements Made
Our key findings were:
- Sellafield Limited has a comprehensive documented set of arrangements consisting of Terms of Reference and underpinning guidance. Members of the SLNSC receive training and there is specific training for the Technical Secretary;
- the SLNSC clearly forms part of the Sellafield Limited governance arrangements with the Chair being a member of the Sellafield Limited Board. Advice is captured and all members take an active part in discussion;
- SLNSC membership is not currently assessed against the current and future advice needs of the organisation. There is an intention to change the SLNSC Terms of Reference to include a review of the independent members of the committee on a three yearly basis but there are no plans to include a review of full membership at present;
- we found good practice in the review of SLNSC effectiveness including an annual review of performance by the committee itself and an independent review of performance undertaken by the Sellafield Limited Internal Regulator. The reviews have resulted in a recommendation to change the Terms of Reference of the SLNSC;
- the current calendar of business for the SLNSC is prepared and agreed on an annual basis and covers routine, specific and generic issues for advice. There is an opportunity to align this to the calendar of business under development for the Sellafield Limited Executive. This would help ensure that the SLNSC is providing advice on key organisational decisions and is taking a holistic view of the licensee's activities that have the potential to influence nuclear safety.
Conclusion of Intervention
We conclude that the SLNSC arrangements are adequate and found good practice in how the SLNSC reviews its effectiveness. We will continue to monitor SLNSC performance, e.g. through regular review of SLNSC minutes.
We found two opportunities for improvement for Sellafield Limited to consider in regard to:
- aligning the Calendar of Business for the SLNSC with the Sellafield Limited Executive Calendar of Business to better ensure provision of relevant, timely advice and improve the overall governance of the Sellafield site;
- regularly reviewing the overall membership of the SLNSC to ensure it has the appropriate knowledge and experience in line with the forward calendar of business and lifecycle phases of all activities on the Sellafield site.