Office for Nuclear Regulation

Licence compliance inspection - LC15 (Periodic Review) - Sellafield - Special Nuclear Materials (North)

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 Periodic Safety Reviews (PSR).  At Sellafield PSR are referred to as Long Term Periodic Review (LTPR).

The fundamental purpose of a 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 SNM (N) storage facility1 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:

The inspection also provided an opportunity for ONR to gather information on the storage facility and the contribution that the plant could make to ONR’s strategic priority at Sellafield (high hazard risk reduction).

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

On 20-21 August 2019, ONR carried out a one and a half day inspection of Licence Condition (LC) 15 compliance in the storage facility.  The ONR inspection team was assembled following a review of the LTPR by the ONR Project inspector.  Each ONR inspector reviewed the LTPR and developed lines of inquiry to inspect with SL:

The intervention comprised of:

LC 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 storage 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.  Closure of 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 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).