Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sellafield – Inspection ID: 22-007

  • Site: Sellafield
  • IR number: 22-007
  • Date: April 2022
  • LC numbers: 7

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

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. The planned inspection schedule for 2022/23 identifies the Licence Conditions (LCs) and regulations that will be inspected during this period.

The purpose of this intervention was for ONR to determine the adequacy of implementation of Sellafield Ltd’s arrangements for compliance with LC7 ‘Incidents on the site’ at the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP).

The overall adequacy of Sellafield Ltd’s site-wide arrangements for LC7 is considered separately in other ONR interventions.

Interventions carried out by ONR

I, the Site Inspector for THORP and Spent Fuel Services undertook an inspection against compliance with LC7 ‘Incidents on the site’.

I also undertook a review of regulatory issues with the Head of Operations at THORP.

Explanation of judgement if safety system not judged to be adequate

Not applicable since these were not safety system-based inspections.

Key findings, inspector’s opinions and reasons for judgements made

I found that THORP is compliant with the site’s arrangements for LC7 and ONR’s expectations for this LC, with one minor deficiency identified. I observed local sentencing and management peer review meetings and found these to be appropriately convened and challenging. I sampled a selection of investigations and found these had or were following due process, and I sampled a selection of incidents to determine if the appropriate level of investigation had been applied. For the latter, I found that one event that met the requirement for the consideration of an investigation had not been investigated, nor had sufficient justification for not investigating been recorded. I was satisfied that THORP understands this shortfall and the requirement to provide adequate justification for not undertaking investigations.

I also undertook a regulatory issues review with THORP.

Conclusion of intervention

For LC7, based upon the evidence sampled for the implementation of the Sellafield corporate ‘Performance Improvement’ arrangements at THORP, an inspection rating of Green is considered appropriate.