Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sellafield Ltd Decommissioning – LC11 Inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all its regulatory interactions with the Sellafield site licensee, Sellafield Ltd (SL), against a strategy defined by the ONR Sellafield Programme.  Within this strategy, ONR inspects SL’s Licence Condition (LC) adequate arrangements according to a five-year rolling programme.  This inspection of SL’s arrangements for LC11 (Emergency arrangements) and their application in the Decommissioning Division is part of that programme.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

LC11 requires the licensee to make and implement adequate arrangements for dealing with any accident or emergency arising on the site and their effects.

I completed an on-site inspection which focused on the implementation of SL’s emergency arrangements within the Legacy Ponds and Silos (LP&S) part of the Decommissioning Division.  The inspection lasted two working days, and included a series of interviews with SL staff and witnessing a facility emergency drill exercise.  My compliance inspection was undertaken in accordance with the following ONR processes and supporting inspection guidance:

  1. NS-INSP-GD-011 Revision 3, May 2016.  LC11 - Emergency Arrangements
  2. Planning and Conducting Interventions.
  3. Record/Communicate Outcome of Intervention and Enforcement Decision

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A.  This was not a Safety System inspection.

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

My inspection identified a number of areas of good practice in Decommissioning Division’s emergency arrangements and that these have been shared with the wider site Safety and Reliability (S&R) Division at Sellafield. There are however, areas in which the formal arrangements for emergency management are currently still being developed or implemented, either in terms of required capabilities, or the extent of their incorporation into site, division and building documentation.

I confirmed that all of these observed shortfalls had already been recognised by the Decommissioning emergency management team, and that funded programmes exist to address the gaps.  SL’s team has recognised and reacted to problem areas, and were proactive and open throughout my inspection, e.g. in sharing the progress made. As such I have not raised any new Regulatory Issues but will instead incorporate the findings from this inspection into ONR’s ongoing LC11 intervention to ensure these shortfalls are addressed in a timely manner.

Based on the evidence from this inspection, I judge that the emergency arrangements in LP&S are adequate.   

Conclusion of Intervention

I consider that the SL’s implementation of its LC11 arrangements in the LP&S part of the Decommissioning Division are of an adequate standard and so I have awarded an IIS rating of 3 (adequate).  I did, however, note a number of shortfalls.  These were already identified by Decommissioning Division, and plans are in place to remedy these. These matters will be addressed through an existing ONR Regulatory Issue.