Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sellafield – Inspection ID: 22-006

  • Site: Sellafield
  • IR number: 22-006
  • Date: April 2022
  • LC numbers: 11

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) undertakes all regulatory interactions with the Sellafield site licensee (Sellafield Limited) against a strategy defined by the ONR Sellafield Subdivision. In accordance with this strategy, a planned Licence Condition (LC) compliance inspection was carried out at B6 (Pile 1 Chimney) of the Beta Gamma Operating Unit within the Remediation Value Stream.

The purpose of this inspection was to confirm that Sellafield Limited is adequately implementing its arrangements for LC 11 (Emergency arrangements) at B6.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The inspection was a planned LC 11 intervention conducted at B6 and was undertaken on 21 April 2022 by the ONR Site Inspector for Remediation Value Stream. A representative of Sellafield Limited Nuclear Intelligence and Independent Oversight (NI&IO) function also participated.

LC 11 (1) requires the licensee to make and implement adequate arrangements for dealing with any accident or emergency arising on the site and their effects.

LC 11 (5) requires the licensee to ensure that such arrangements are rehearsed at such intervals and at such times and to such extent as ONR may specify or, where ONR has not so specified, as the licensee considers necessary.

LC 11 (6) requires the licensee to ensure that such arrangements include procedures to ensure that all persons in his employ who have duties in connection with such arrangements are properly instructed in the performance of the same, in the use of the equipment required and the precautions to be observed in connection therewith.

As part of the preparation for the delivery of this intervention, the following formal ONR guidance documentation was used:

  • ONR-INSP-GD-059 Revision 8 Guidance for Inspection Strategy Planning and Recording.
  • NS-INSP-GD-011 Revision 7 LC 11 – Emergency Arrangements.

The inspection comprised discussions with Sellafield Limited personnel, a review of a targeted sample of Sellafield Limited documentation and visit to B2 facility where the Access Control Points (ACP) were located.

The inspection focused on the following areas:

  • B6 implementation of Sellafield’s LC 11 arrangements, including any variations.
  • Evidence regarding the planning and conduct of training exercises on emergency management.
  • Evidence regarding the training and competence of personnel associated with LC 11.
  • The adequacy of facilities and equipment to support emergency management at B6.
  • The ability and effectiveness to apply learning from experience.

The scope and focus of the inspection took into account of intelligence gained from various ONR interventions.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

This was not a system based inspection, and 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

During the LC 11 inspection, I sampled evidence associated with Sellafield Limited compliance with its corporate emergency arrangements and concluded the following:

  • The licensee has adequately implemented its arrangements for compliance with LC 11 and the personnel involved in the inspection had a good knowledge of the extant arrangements and provided adequate supporting evidence.
  • During the inspection, I saw evidence that the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) members on duty were Suitably Qualified and Experienced Personnel (SQEP) for their emergency roles and that their SQEP status was  in date.
  • The licensee demonstrated willingness to be a learning organisation and is currently implementing several improvements from its Tier 1 audit including adoption of good practices from other value streams.
  • Several emergency related documents are currently being revised and appropriate ATLAS actions are in place to track them to completion.
  • The annual and fire-year exercise schedules were adequate.
  • During the plant walkdown in B2, I saw evidence that the ACPs were appropriately set up and stocked.

Conclusion of Intervention

Taking the above findings into account, and noting the ONR guidance on inspection ratings, I judge that Sellafield Limited has adequately implemented its arrangements for compliance with LC 11 (Emergency arrangements) at B6. I therefore consider that an inspection rating of Green (No Formal Action) is merited.