Sellafield Limited IRR17 Inspection Special Nuclear Materials (North)
- Site: Sellafield
- IR number: 20-030
- Date: September 2020
- LC numbers: N/A
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. This report presents the findings of a planned intervention that was undertaken in order to assess compliance with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17) within the Special Nuclear Materials North (SNM(N)) area on the Sellafield Site.
In addition, arrangements within SNM(N) in response to COVID-19 were also noted.
Interventions Carried Out by ONR
The intervention consisted of an examination of the implementation of arrangements to secure compliance with the requirements of IRR17 by discussion with key facility personnel and inspection of plant. The key requirements examined were those relating to the following IRR17 regulations:
- Regulation 8 (Radiation risk assessments)
- Regulation 9 (Restriction of exposure)
- Regulation 10 (Personal protective equipment)
- Regulation 16 (Co-operation between employers)
- Regulation 17 (Designation of controlled and supervised areas)
Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate
Not applicable, this was not a System Based Inspection.
Key Findings, Inspector's Opinions and Reasons for Judgements Made
The following summarises the key observations arising from discussions, sampled documentation and inspection of the facility during this intervention:
- I welcomed the work undertaken with respect to the production of a more IRR17 focused radiation risk assessment, improving the link between the safety case and the task specific risk assessment.
- Advice was provided to SL that any recommendations identified within the revised radiation risk assessment were tracked via the corporate action tracking system (ATLAS) to ensure they were completed, with a further update of the risk assessment taking place to ensure the actions were fully addressed prior to the work taking place.
- There was good appreciation of current and future dose challenges, utilising corporate and local dashboards to identify early trends. There was clear focus on improving the use of eye lens dosimetry to support future operations.
- I considered the availability of a wall affixed mirror to assist singleton entries in to a C3 RPE area allowing the operator to check their own RPE fit was good practice, and should be shared across SL.
- Advice was provided to SL in relation to the need to clarify the requirement for the checking for excessive wear and damage of the lead aprons prior to use.
- Observations were made regarding the storage of a number of hard hats throughout the facility, which the Licensee dealt with immediately, and housekeeping standards within a number of C2 corridors, which the Licensee committed to address.
- I discussed the change in personal monitoring due to COVID-19 distancing requirements directly with health physics staff, and gained confidence the change did not negatively impact the ability to monitor and detect personal contamination.
Conclusion of Intervention
In conclusion, I judged that, on the basis of evidence sampled at the time of this inspection, compliance with IRR17 was demonstrated and an inspection rating of Green (no formal action) is appropriate.