Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sellafield – Inspection ID: 22-032

  • Site: Sellafield
  • IR number: 22-032
  • Date: June 2022
  • LC numbers: 32

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) that will be inspected during this period.

The purpose of this intervention was for ONR to determine the adequacy of implementation of the arrangements for compliance with LC 32 ‘Accumulation of radioactive waste’ at the Active Handling Facility (AHF). National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) operates the AHF at the Sellafield site as tenant.  The purpose of the inspection was for ONR to gain assurance that NNL has adequately implemented Sellafield Limited’s arrangements, or equivalent arrangements, in compliance with LC 32.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The Nuclear Liabilities Regulation (NLR) specialist undertook an inspection against compliance with LC 32 ‘Accumulation of radioactive waste’.

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

For LC 32, the inspection focused on solid radioactive waste accumulated in the AHF Caves and evidence for the implementation of adequate arrangements, specifically those related to minimisation and records.

The inspection included a walkdown of key areas within the AHF to observe the radioactive waste storage practices and the implementation of the inventory recording process. Based upon the sample taken, I consider there to be adequate evidence of the implementation of the LC 32 arrangements in relation to minimising the rate of production and total volume of radioactive waste accumulated on the AHF so far as is reasonably practicable at the time of the inspection. I considered that AHF is adequately implementing arrangements with respect to records.

Regulatory advice was provided in a number of areas; however these were not considered to be shortfalls to meet the expectations of LC 32, but enhancements to the extant arrangements and therefore opportunities for NNL to consider implementing. No regulatory issues were raised as a result of the inspection.

Conclusion of Intervention

Based upon the evidence sampled for the implementation of the arrangements for LC 32 ‘Accumulation of radioactive waste’ at AHF, an inspection rating of Green is considered appropriate.