Office for Nuclear Regulation

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To conduct an IRR99 compliance inspection of contamination events control at Fuel Handling Plant

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This intervention was undertaken on 28th and 29th January 2015 at Sellafield Limited’s Sellafield nuclear licensed site in Cumbria.

Inspection of compliance with Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99), at nuclear licensed sites, forms part of ONR’s activities.  ONR’s Sellafield Programme has defined a programme of inspections to be undertaken on the Sellafield site, this is a key aspect of ONR’s regulatory strategy for the Sellafield site.  The inspection undertaken within this intervention is part of that programme and is identified on ONR’s PP4 inspection plan which covers Sellafield Limited’s Magnox Operating Unit.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

IRR99 Reg. 8 requires the radiation employer to take all steps necessary to restrict, so far as is reasonably practicable, the extent to which employees and others are exposed to ionising radiation.  Reg. 19 requires the employer to take steps to ensure that levels of ionising radiation are monitored and that working conditions are kept under review.

I completed a compliance inspection within the Fuel Handling Plant (FHP) against the IRR’s in accordance with the following ONR guidance

NS-INSP-GD-054 Revision 4, November 2014.  The Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999.

The inspection consisted of a discussion and data review with the Radiation Protection Advisor (RPA) and a plant visit of the main area of interest.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A – a system inspection was not undertaken.

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

IRR 99 Regulation 8 requires the radiation employer (in this case the licensee) to restrict exposures (so far as is reasonable practicable), while  Reg. 19 requires the employer to take steps to ensure that levels of ionising radiation are monitored and that working conditions are kept under review. Whilst the reported increase in contamination finds is of interest to ONR, it is my opinion that the licensee is taking reasonable and targeted steps to address the issue within FHP.  Furthermore, the licensee’s proposals to continue with improvements and to focus on identifying the source(s) of the contamination were considered to be appropriate. Consequently, it is my opinion that compliance with IRR99 – Regulations 8 and 19 is rated adequate (3).

Conclusion of Intervention

No regulatory issues were raised as a result of this intervention.  Based on the evidence gathered, no significant matters have been identified that are likely to impact on nuclear safety on the Sellafield site at this time.