Office for Nuclear Regulation

Mixed Oxide (MOX) Demonstration Facility (MDF) - Compliance inspection of LC 23, 24 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 selection of the Mixed Oxide Demonstration Facility (MDF) was driven by the two outstanding Regulatory Issues and the ongoing work in this area. This inspection follows one undertaken at this facility in July 2020 which focussed on LC 10, 11 and 12.

The purpose of this inspection was for ONR to determine the adequacy of implementation of SL’s arrangements for compliance with Licence Condition (LC) 23 (Operating Rules), LC 24 (Operating Instructions) and LC 26 (Control and Supervision), at MDF.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

This inspection was carried out against LCs 23, 24 and 26. It sought to seek evidence of compliance in each case.

Due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the intervention followed a blended approach involving a mixture of a remote engagement supplemented by an on-site inspection by the ONR Site Inspector for Remediation value stream. The inspection has been carried out in line with the ONR Sellafield, Decommissioning, Fuel and Waste (SDFW) Division’s regulatory approach to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The inspection began with a teleconference between the inspection team, representatives from MDF and the SL internal regulator, Nuclear Intelligence & Independent Oversight (NI&IO).  This session was supported by evidence that had been requested in advance.  Further evidence was requested and provided following this session.  The inspection concluded with a site inspection by the Remediation value stream Site Inspector, and a follow-up teleconference involving the inspection team.  Regulatory judgements have been made based on the verbal answers, the observations made on the site visit and the sampling of information contained within electronic databases as well as other relevant documentation.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable since this was not a 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 SL’s corporate arrangements for LC 23, 24 and 26 at MDF.

From our inspection we concluded the following:

Conclusion of Intervention

On the basis of the evidence sampled, the inspection team judged that the MDF has adequately implemented their arrangements for compliance with Licence Conditions 23, 24 and 26 and hence an inspection rating of Green (no formal action) is merited.