Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sellafield Ltd complies with Improvement Notice

4 November, 2014

Sellafield Ltd has fully complied with the Improvement Notice issued on the Waste Vitrification Plant (WVP) Line 3 served by ONR in May this year.

ONR took enforcement action on the licensee following a partial loss of power event in the facility in November 2013, which resulted in radioactive material being released from in-cell areas to the plant working areas. ONR considered that Sellafield Ltd failed to have adequate containment arrangements in place for the WVP line 3 facility, which was a breach of the Nuclear Installations Act 1965. Sellafield Ltd were required to improve the nuclear site licence condition compliance arrangements with respect to the physical containment barriers and resilience of the facility’s ventilation systems by 31 October 2014.

Sellafield Ltd has now demonstrated to ONR that improvements have been implemented so far as is reasonably practicable. ONR is satisfied that these improvements put in place by the licensee will minimise the risk of leakage of radioactive material or radioactive waste from the facility in-cell areas into the plant operating areas, therefore fully meeting the requirements of the Improvement Notice.

WVP is an important hazard reduction facility which is used to convert Highly Active Liquor (HAL) wastes from site fuel reprocessing activities in to glass. Line 3 has been offline since the incident occurred, reducing the facility’s capacity to vitrify HAL. Line 3 is now operational, giving the facility capability to increase the vitrification of HAL stocks.