Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sellafield – Inspection ID: 22-005

  • Site: Sellafield
  • IR number: 22-005
  • Date: April 2022
  • LC numbers: N/A

Executive summary

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all regulatory interaction with the Sellafield site licensee (Sellafield Ltd) against a strategy defined by the ONR Sellafield, Decommissioning, Fuel and Waste (SDFW) Division.

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of this inspection is to gain assurance that Sellafield Ltd Special Nuclear Materials (SNM) are compliant with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17) and associated Sellafield Ltd procedures and standards for work associated with glovebox operations within SNM North and South.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 Compliance – Gloveboxes

The key requirements examined were those relating to the following IRR17 regulations for glovebox operations across SNM North and South:

  • Regulation 8 – Radiation risk assessments;
  • Regulation 9 – Restriction of exposure;
  • Regulation 11 – Maintenance and examination of engineering controls etc and personal protective equipment;
  • Regulation 15 – Information, instruction and training.

The main focus was related to IRR17 Regulation 11 on how the condition of gloveboxes is assessed and maintained, including glovebox gloves and posting bags.

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 was content that Special Nuclear Materials North and South has demonstrated compliance with those areas inspected in relation to IRR17 in respect to operations and maintenance of gloveboxes.

Some minor observations were made during the intervention relating to the importance of maintaining high standards of housekeeping in all consumable stores, the storage of lead aprons, and the follow-up to Sellafield Limited glovebox inspection reports.

We discussed the benefits of using pictorial records of the gloveboxes to aim training on glovebox degradation issues.

The findings were shared with and acknowledged by Special Nuclear Materials North and South as part of normal inspection feedback.

Conclusion of Intervention

I judged that, on the basis of evidence sampled at the time of the intervention, and additional clarity and information subsequently provided by Sellafield Ltd Special Nuclear Materials, and the area for improvement discussed and accepted by Sellafield Ltd, compliance with IRR17 arrangements in respect of glovebox operations and maintenance were demonstrated, and that an inspection rating of Green (no formal action) is appropriate.