Office for Nuclear Regulation

This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience. You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information.

Improvement Notice served on Sellafield Ltd

27 September, 2016

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has served an Improvement Notice on Sellafield Ltd requiring improvements in the management and control of Legionella in a cooling tower system at its site in Seascale, Cumbria.

The notice comes following a proactive ONR inspection of Sellafield Ltd’s arrangements for managing the cooling tower at the Highly Active Liquid Effluent and Storage facility (HALES) on the site.

Sellafield Ltd has already taken some short-term remedial actions and ONR has determined that an Improvement Notice is necessary to ensure appropriate sustained and permanent improvements.

Dr Richard Savage, Chief Nuclear Inspector, said: ‘We are here to ensure the nuclear industry meets the high standards of safety and security required by the law and will always take appropriate enforcement action where necessary. This includes management of risks to health and safety arising from Legionella’.

‘We are satisfied that this issue does not impact nuclear safety and there has been no outbreak of Legionnaires Disease. This is about requiring improvements to ensure that the risks arising from Legionella are being appropriately controlled and managed.’

ONR requires Sellafield Ltd to improve the condition of the cooling tower to minimise the likelihood of Legionella bacteria proliferation and release.

Sellafield Ltd is obliged to complete the requirements of the Improvement Notice by 27 January 2017.

ONR will undertake a further investigation to determine the underlying causes surrounding the failure to meet the required legal standards in this instance. Due to our ongoing investigation, we will not publicly discuss any further details at this time.