Office for Nuclear Regulation

Planned compliance inspection of Licence Condition 22 (Modification or experiment on existing pant)

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 22 (Modification or experiment on existing plant) at the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP).

The overall adequacy of SL's site-wide LC 22 arrangements is considered separately in other ONR interventions.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I, the Site Inspector for THORP carried out a planned LC 22 compliance inspection at THORP. The inspection focused on:

The inspection comprised discussions with SL staff, 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

I found that overall THORP has adequately implemented the Sellafield arrangements for LC 22. A number of shortfalls were identified in relation to the completion of paperwork and the review of Temporary Software Modifications and I gave regulatory advice to THORP over these matters.

I have raised one matter for consideration to the ONR Sellafield Corporate Inspectors in relation to the categorisation arrangements for modification of Programmable Electronic Systems.

One operator raised a concern about social distancing measures in the THORP Central Control Room. At the time of the inspection the social distancing was adequate, there were spacing markers on the floor, wipes were available and allocated seating spaces were marked on tables. However, I raised this matter with the THORP Head of Operations to determine if anything further could be practicably done to alleviate concerns. I intend to follow up on this matter.

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

Conclusion of Intervention

Based on the evidence sampled at the time of the inspection, I judge that THORP has adequately implemented SL’s arrangements for LC 22. Noting the ONR guidance on inspection ratings, it is my opinion that an inspection rating of Green (no formal action) is merited.