Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sellafield – Inspection ID: 22-020

  • Site: Sellafield
  • IR number: 22-020
  • Date: May 2022
  • LC numbers: 32

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This inspection was carried out at the Sellafield Limited Special Nuclear Materials (SNM) value stream facilities in the North and South of the Sellafield Site. It was a planned inspection identified as ISS-50116 on the 2022/23 inspection schedule database. The inspection focused on inventory management, planning for waste arising during Post Operational Clean Out (POCO), and improvements identified in previous inspections.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

This was an inspection of SNM for compliance with Sellafield Limited’s corporate arrangements for Licence Condition 32 Accumulation of radioactive waste. It comprised discussion with staff, review of documents, and an inspection of plant. The inspection was carried out in line with ONR’s Technical Inspection Guides, (Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) Compliance inspection – Technical inspection guides).

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


Key Findings, Inspector’s Opinions and Reasons for Judgements Made

I found that SNM(S) have a low rate of waste arising and are managing POCO waste through existing routes. The waste inventory is up to date and in line with Sellafield Limited’s corporate arrangements.

I saw that SNM(N) have made improvements since last year’s LC 32 inspection. Improvements include the export of LLW brick rubble, and an improved waste inventory. Evidence was seen that SNM had acted on advice ONR has provided e.g. the majority of SNM personnel have attended LC 32 related training that was made mandatory.  

Evidence was seen that SNM(N) are still not compliant with Sellafield Limited Corporate requirements for waste laydown areas (temporary storage areas). Ahead of the inspection SNM(N) had self-identified an improvement plan (Material Control Recovery Plan) intended to address the root causes. We saw evidence that SNM(N) were starting to act on the plan, for example the preparations to refurbish the goods-in area in June 2022, and the creation of a dedicated waste management team.  

Conclusion of Intervention

Based on the evidence sampled I consider that an inspection rating of Green (no formal action) is appropriate for SNM. I judge that SNM(N) has demonstrated a clear dedication to improvement, has identified the problems and was working to rectify them. I have raised a Level 4 regulatory Issue to maintain oversight of the development and implementation of the Material Control Recovery Plan.