Office for Nuclear Regulation

LC7 compliance inspection of the Solid Waste Operating Unit, Site Remediation and Waste Management (SR&WM) Directorate, Sellafield Nuclear Licensed Site, Cumbria

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all regulatory interactions with Sellafield Limited (SL, the site licensee) against a strategy defined by the ONR Sellafield Programme.  My planned inspection schedule PP5 for the current regulatory year (covering April 2015 – March 2016), the content of which is guided by that strategy, identifies the Licence Conditions (LCs) that will be inspected over this period.

I met with facility representatives from the Solid Waste Operating Unit, Site Remediation and Waste Management (SR&WM) Directorate when undertaking this planned LC 7 inspection. This Directorate was selected for inspection since it consists of a number of ageing facilities with a wide range of nuclear safety challenges and the possibility that its operating life will be extended to provide waste management services for other areas of the site. The safe and effective operation of this facility is central to preventing contamination leaving site in the event of an incident.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The purpose of Licence Condition 7 (LC7) is to ensure that incidents on the site are notified, recorded, investigated and reported by the Licensee.

My inspection, which comprised discussions with SL staff and examination of plant documentation, focussed on the following areas:

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 7 have been effectively implemented within the (SR&WM) Directorate. I did, however, identify some minor improvements that could be made, all of which were accepted by the licensee.

I consider the facility’s implementation of the site’s arrangements for LC7 is adequate.  Additionally, there are areas where the licensee is seeking improvement; event trending and effective use of investigation.  For these reasons, on balance, I consider the inspection findings merit an IIS rating of 3 (adequate) against LC7. This is consistent with the IIS ratings guidance, for which the relevant extract is:

“…Arrangements meet guidance requirements. Some opportunities for improvement under ALARP. Areas for improvement known, but being addressed only slowly. Site inspector able to identify minor points for improvement.”

Conclusion of Intervention

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