Office for Nuclear Regulation

Compliance inspection against the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99) on the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond (FGMSP) on Sellafield Ltd.’s nuclear licensed site in Sellafield, Cumbria

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report presents the findings of an intervention that was undertaken at the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond (FGMSP) at Sellafield Ltd.’s Sellafield site in order to assess Sellafield Limited’s (SL) compliance with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99).

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The licensee provided a summary of the activities undertaken at the facility and its arrangements for ensuring compliance with IRR99.  Matters discussed included the application of the hierarchy of control measures for restricting exposure to radiation, dose management, control of work, training and supervision of personnel and contingency arrangements.  I also carried out a plant visit to identify whether the licensee’s arrangements were being effectively applied at the point of work.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

This intervention was not a safety system inspection.

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

It was my opinion that the Licensee’s arrangements for complying with IRR99 appeared to be effective.  The work activities we sampled were effectively controlled with a clear demonstration that the hierarchy of control measures was applied.  There was generally a good standard of housekeeping around the facility, and the SL personnel we encountered were knowledgeable and committed to ensuring safe hazard and risk reduction at the facility.

We identified a number of areas for improvement regarding the monitoring of worker doses at the facility.  We recommended that the Safety Manager and Safety Advisers should ensure that they have full oversight of doses received by contract workers in order to ensure that exposures are monitored to the same standard as the doses incurred by SL personnel.  We also recommended that the facility should review its use of Local ALARP Review Levels (LARLs) which appeared to me to function simply as a tool for restricting the magnitude of SL worker doses rather than demonstrating that they have been restricted so far as is reasonably practicable.

Conclusion of Intervention

FGMSP is a challenging facility from a radiological protection perspective, consisting of ageing, high hazard plant that is simultaneously accommodating a range of construction, operational and decommissioning activities.  From what we saw, it was my opinion that the radiological hazards are well-managed by the Licensee and it is effectively complying with the requirements of IRR99.  Furthermore, the Licensee recognises the importance of safely accelerating hazard and risk reduction and demonstrated a willingness to make improvements to enable this.  Consequently, I have given the intervention an IIS rating of 2 (good). I have not raised any Regulatory Issues.