Office for Nuclear Regulation

Planned licence compliance inspection – LC15 (Periodic Review)

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all regulatory interactions with the Sellafield Site licensee (Sellafield Limited, SL) against a strategy defined by the ONR Sellafield, Decommissioning, Fuel and Waste (SDFW) Division. Objective 12 is concerned with the proportionate assessment of the Long Term Periodic Review (LTPR) of safety cases and other safety submissions.

The fundamental purpose of a Periodic Safety Review (PSR) is to ensure that at any stage in its operational lifecycle, the facility remains adequately safe, whilst operating in compliance with a current and cogent safety case.

The purpose of this intervention was for ONR to assess the adequacy of the SIXEP third cycle LTPR and to ensure that SL is taking the necessary steps to continue to operate and maintain the plant in a manner that ensures that the plant risks are as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).

The three broad objectives of this intervention were to:

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

On 12 – 13 December, ONR carried out a one and a half day inspection of LC15 compliance in the Site Ion Exchange Plant (SIXEP). The ONR inspection team was assembled following a review of the LTPR submission by the ONR project inspector.  Each ONR inspector reviewed the LTPR and developed lines of inquiry to inspect with SL:

The intervention comprised of:

Licence condition 15 requires the licensee to make and implement adequate arrangements for the periodic and systematic review and reassessment of safety cases. The following ONR guidance was used:

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

This was not a system based inspection; therefore no judgement has been made on the adequacy of the implementation of any specific part of the safety case.

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

Based upon sampling of submitted documents, discussions with SL staff and a facility walk-down, ONR considers that SL has undertaken an adequate LTPR of the SIXEP facility. The inspection did not reveal any matters of substantive concern that had not already been identified by SL as part of its own review or were already being progressed as part of its routine business.  However a number of matters for further review were identified and closure of these (and the shortfalls identified by SL) will be monitored by the ONR LTPR inspector as part of normal, post inspection duties.

ONR considers that:

As part of its LC15 arrangements SL will produce a confirmation of safety letter to confirm that the facility has adequately implemented the LTPR and that risks have been reduced to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).

Overall ONR is satisfied that:

Conclusion of Intervention

Based on the evidence sampled during the inspection, ONR considers that SL has effectively implemented its arrangements for compliance with LC15.  ONR therefore judges that an inspection rating of Green (no formal action) is appropriate for compliance against LC15 (periodic review).