Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sellafield – Inspection ID: 50132

  • Site: Sellafield
  • Inspection ID: 50132
  • Date: July 2022
  • LC numbers: 26

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

In accordance with the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s (ONR’s) Sellafield Strategy, each year ONR performs a series of planned compliance inspections of selected licence conditions, targeted at those facilities with significant importance to nuclear safety. A limited number of these inspections are not announced to the dutyholder. One such unannounced inspection is to be undertaken to assess the Special Nuclear Materials (SNM) Value Stream’s compliance with Sellafield Limited’s corporate arrangements for Licence Condition 26 (Control and Supervision of Operations) on 13 July 22.

Subject(s) of inspection

LC26 – Control and supervision of operations

Executive summary

The inspection comprised discussions with Sellafield Limited staff, review of records, and observations of activities on plant.

Evidence was seen that the on shift Duly Authorised Persons (DAP) responsible for control and supervision of both Finishing Line 5 and the Transport and Storage Teams activities had been appointed for their roles. I confirmed that the Minimum Safe Manning Levels required for SNM(N) personnel had been met by Suitable Qualified and Experienced persons.

I saw evidence that the shift logs had being appropriately filled in. I found that in general compliance records had been appropriate completed, and signed off by the DAP. I inspected the information on plant safety displayed in the Plant Operations Control Centre to confirm it was current and meaningful. The operators in the Finishing Line 5 Control Room were able to correctly demonstrate how they would respond to a fault scenario.

I inspected civil engineering improvement works being carried within the facility. I confirmed that the contractor’s Charge Hand had the appropriate Permit To Work Paperwork, and noted that he could effectively outline the main hazards and controls in place.

By observing a shift handover (from outgoing to incoming DAPs, and the subsequent team shift brief) I gained confidence that operations that may affect safety are carried out under the control and supervision of Suitably Qualified and Experienced Persons (SQEPs) appointed for that purpose by the licensee. This was reinforced by observing part of a SNM Plant Operations Control Centre (POCC) daily meeting and an events sentencing meeting.

Some minor opportunities for improvement were identified during the inspection that resulted in regulatory advice, and Sellafield Limited raising a condition report in line with its internal processes.


On the basis of the evidence sampled at the time of the inspection, I judge that Sellafield Limited has adequately implemented its arrangements for LC26 in the SNM Value Stream. Noting the ONR guidance on inspection ratings, it is my opinion that an inspection rating of Green (no formal action) is merited here.