Office for Nuclear Regulation

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LC11 compliance inspection of WVP

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all regulatory interaction with the Sellafield site licensee (Sellafield Limited, SL) against a strategy defined by the ONR Sellafield Programme. 

In accordance with that Strategy, a compliance inspection of the Waste Vitrification Plant (WVP) against Licence Condition 11 (LC11, Emergency arrangements) was planned for February 2015.  The purpose of this inspection was for the ONR to confirm the adequacy of implementation of the licensee’s arrangements for compliance with this Licence Condition.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

LC11 requires SL to make and implement adequate arrangements for dealing with accidents and emergencies and their effects.

I carried out a half-day, on-site team inspection of LC11, with support from a second site inspector from the ONR Sellafield (SL) Programme.  The inspection comprised discussions with SL staff and reviews of plant records and other documentation.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

As this was not a Systems Based Inspection (SBI), no such judgement was required.

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

From the evidence made available to me during this inspection, I consider that the licensee (SL) has made significant progress against its implementation of site-wide arrangements for compliance with this LC over the last year, and that the related good practice has started to be recognised within the licensee’s own organisation.

As part of a site-wide programme of improvements against training and performance against emergency management, the WVP facility has undertaken a considerable proportion of the planned improvements.  The facility, in my opinion, has demonstrated significant commitment to the completion of this improvement programme, and I have, as part of the inspection, indicated where I consider that good practice has been embedded within the facility.

The licensee was able to provide sufficient demonstration, based on discussions held with a range of staff within the facility, that the training has been effective, and that key Emergency Management (EM) positive behaviours had been inculcated through a combination of formal training, and practical application (planned drills and exercises).

The facility demonstrated compliance with the site-wide approach to the generation of a comprehensive drills and exercise schedule.  I suggested that there are areas of good practice within this Directorate’s EM organisation which should be shared with other site Directorates; the licensee concurred with my observation.

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence sampled during this inspection, I judge that the licensee has implemented adequately the site arrangements for compliance with LC11 at WVP.  In a number of areas, SL provided evidence of good practice against training and EM capability assessment.  Of particular note is the fact that the licensee is alert to, and is actively pursuing, potential future improvements.

Therefore, given that the licensee is also proactive in terms of application of training, and positive in terms of the learning gained from that training, an IIS rating of 2 (Good Standard) is merited.