Office for Nuclear Regulation

To conduct a LC28 compliance inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This intervention was undertaken on 15 – 16 July 2015 at Sellafield Limited’s (SL) nuclear licensed site at Sellafield in Cumbria, and focussed on the four plants which comprise the Magnox Operating unit.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes its regulatory interactions with Sellafield Limited against a strategy defined by the ONR Sellafield Programme. That regulatory strategy is supported by a defined programme of safety system inspections and licence condition (LC) compliance inspections to be undertaken on the Sellafield site.

This planned intervention was undertaken to determine if the Magnox Operating Unit is adequately implementing SL’s site-wide arrangements for compliance with Licence Condition 28 with respect to electrical switchgear.  This facility was selected for this inspection because of its potential for an event here to lead to off-site contamination and because a reliable electrical power supply etc. is required to maintain nuclear safety and to support hazard and risk remediation on site.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

Supported by two ONR inspectors, I conducted a Licence Condition 28 (LC28) compliance inspection over a two day period in accordance with the following ONR guidance:

LC28 requires the licensee to make and implement adequate arrangements for the regular and systematic examination, inspection, maintenance and testing (EIM&T) of all plant which may affect safety.

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

I consider that SL’s arrangements for compliance with LC 28 have been effectively implemented within the Magnox Operating Unit.  It was my opinion that there were a number of areas of good practice, and a number of improvements that could reasonably be made, all of which were accepted by the licensee.

I consider the facility’s implementation of the site’s arrangements for LC28 is good in many areas.  For instance, there is appropriate focus and oversight by the facility management on the delivery of the facility’s declared maintenance requirements. This is, however, offset by some weaknesses relating to timely implementation of corrective actions. For these reasons, on balance, I consider the inspection merits an IIS rating of 3 (Adequate) against LC28.

During the inspection, I took the opportunity to follow-up two existing site-wide ONR regulatory issues relating to the management of electrical switchgear. The first of these relates to the adequacy of governance and oversight of the delivery of planned maintenance across site. Based on the evidence presented it is my opinion that this issue has been addressed satisfactorily.  The second relates to the site-wide management of a type of obsolete switchgear.  I was able to accept that appropriate short-term actions have been completed in the interests of safety. However, I will seek from SL the development of a coherent, integrated site-wide approach which, through alignment with relevant good practice, identifies, prioritises and addresses the remaining medium and long-term risks presented by this equipment.

In my opinion, 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.

Conclusion of Intervention

My findings were shared with, and accepted by, the licensee as part of normal inspection feedback. No new ONR Regulatory Issues were raised as a result of this inspection.