Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sellafield - LC28 compliance inspection

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. In accordance with that strategy, Licence Condition (LC) compliance inspections were carried out on the Low Active Effluent Management Group (LAEMG), as planned, in October 2020. 

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

On 14 October 2020, the Site Inspector for Effluent & Encapsulation Plant accompanied by an ONR Mechanical Engineering Specialist (working remotely under COVID19 risk assessment guidelines) and the Sellafield Nominated Site Inspector carried out a planned licence condition compliance inspection of the LAEMG plants. The purpose of this inspection was for the ONR to determine the adequacy of implementation of the licensee’s formal arrangements for compliance with LC28 (examination, inspection, maintenance and testing).  The inspection comprised of discussions with SL staff, a facility inspection and reviews of records and other documentation.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

This was not a system based inspection. Therefore, no judgement has been made of the adequacy of implementation of any part of the safety case.

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

 Prior to the LC28 inspection, I undertook a review of the relevant SL procedures against the ONR guidance document LC28; NS-INSP-GD-028 Revision 5.  From those areas sampled, I did not identify any significant shortfalls in the licensee’s formal arrangements for compliance which would prompt an inspection of those arrangements earlier than currently planned. 

The intervention also considered ONR guidance with respect to Asset Management within NS-TAST-GD-098 Revision 2.

In order to judge the adequacy of the implementation of the LC28 arrangements within the LAEMG Plants, I sampled the maintenance and asset management requirements as well as records for identified areas of plant. I also undertook a facility inspection and sampled the training records of a number of maintenance staff.

I was satisfied that the facility had followed their formal arrangements for ensuring compliance with LC28 and had derived a planned maintenance schedule that was aligned with safety case requirements. I was also content that the asset management procedures were being followed and appropriate prioritisation and strategies were in place to manage ageing plant.

I made a number of minor observations with respect to the plant condition and housekeeping standards in the Effluent Plant Services Building (EPSB) that I will follow up through the internal regulator and my routine interactions with the facility. However, these were not judged to be of significant nuclear safety concern.

Our findings were shared with, acknowledged and accepted by LAEMG’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 LAEMG has adequately implemented the SL arrangements for LC28. Noting the ONR guidance on inspection ratings, it is my opinion that an inspection rating of Green (no formal action) is merited.