Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sellafield – Inspection ID: 50134

  • Site: Sellafield
  • Inspection ID: 50134
  • Date: October 2022
  • LC numbers: 12, 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. One such inspection was undertaken to assess the Special Nuclear Materials (SNM) Value Stream’s compliance with Sellafield Limited’s corporate arrangements for Licence Condition 12 (Duly authorised and other suitably qualified and experience persons) and 26 (Control and Supervision of Operations) on 4 October 2022.

Subject(s) of inspection

  • LC12 – Duly authorised and other suitably qualified and  experienced persons (Rating – Green)
  • LC26 – Control and supervision of operations (Rating – Green)

Key findings

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

For LC12 I saw evidence that the on shift Duly Authorised Persons (DAP) responsible for control and supervision of (a) the Sellafield Mixed Oxide Plant (SMP) and Engineering Drum Store (EDS), (b) Finishing Line 6 (FL6) and the Sellafield Product and Residues Store (SPRS) had been appointed for their roles in line with corporate arrangements. I confirmed that the Minimum Safe Manning Levels required for SNM(S) personnel had been met by Suitably Qualified and Experienced persons (SQEP). From inspecting his training records, and talking to him, I judged a Superintending Officer responsible for the control and supervision of contractors to be SQEP.

For LC26, by observing a shift handover (from outgoing to incoming DAPs, Control Room Operators 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 a SNM(S) Plant Operations Control Centre (POCC) daily meeting which I judged to be effective. I found that the shift logs had been appropriately filled in and that compliance records had been appropriately completed and signed off by the DAP. I inspected the information on plant safety displayed in the POCC to confirm it was current and meaningful. The operators in both the SMP and FL6 Control Rooms were able to correctly demonstrate how they would respond to a fault scenario.

I was content with a work pack we inspected which was ready to be used for SMP Post Operational Clean Out activities.

During the inspection I was provided with an update on the SNM Disciplined Operations improvement work. Assurance was provided that SNM is starting to identify some worthwhile improvements out of this work, e.g., from the recent Shift Handover/Log Keeping Manager in the Field Work activities.

Some minor opportunities for improvement were identified during the inspection that resulted in regulatory advice.


On the basis of the evidence sampled at the time of the inspection, I judge that Sellafield Limited has adequately implemented its arrangements for LC12 and 26 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.