Office for Nuclear Regulation

Planned compliance inspection of Licence Conditions 7, 12 and 26

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all regulatory interaction with the Sellafield site licensee (Sellafield Limited (SL)) against a strategy defined by the ONR Sellafield, Decommissioning, Fuel and Waste (SDFW) Division. The planned inspection schedule for 2020/21, updated as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, identifies the Licence Conditions (LCs) that will be inspected during this period.

The purpose of this inspection was for ONR to determine the adequacy of implementation of SL’s arrangements for compliance with LC 7 (Incidents on the site), LC 12 (Duly authorised and other suitably qualified and experienced persons) and LC 26 (Control and supervision of operations) at the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP).

The overall adequacy of SL's site-wide LC 7, LC 12 and LC 26 arrangements is considered separately in other ONR interventions.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I carried out planned LC 7, LC 12 and LC 26 compliance inspections at THORP. The inspections focused on:

The inspection comprised discussions with SL staff and contractors, a review of records, and the sampling of information contained within electronic databases and other documentation.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable since this was not a safety system based inspection.

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

No significant matters were identified as requiring immediate regulatory attention in relation to the implementation of the LC 7, LC 12 and LC 26 arrangements at THORP. Two shortfalls were identified in relation to the data held on the training database for one role (LC 12) and the implementation of the Sellafield Minimum Safe Manning Levels arrangements (LC 26) and these will be followed up as Level 4 issues as part of routine regulatory business.

My findings were shared with, and acknowledged by, THORP’s management as part of normal inspection feedback.

Conclusion of Intervention

On the basis of the evidence sampled at the time of the inspection, I judge that THORP has adequately implemented SL’s arrangements for LC 7, LC 12 and LC 26, with two minor areas for improvement identified. Noting the ONR guidance on inspection ratings, it is my opinion that an inspection rating of Green (no formal action) is merited. Two Level 4 (i.e. lowest level) Regulatory Issues have been raised to manage the implementation of the identified areas for improvement.