Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sellafield – Inspection ID: 51936

  • Site: Sellafield
  • Inspection ID: 51936
  • Date: September 2022
  • LC numbers: 27, 28

Executive summary

Purpose of inspection

Gain assurance that THORP is compliant with Sellafield’s arrangements for Licence Condition (LC) 27 (Safety mechanisms, devices and circuits), LC28 (Examination, inspection, maintenance and testing) (EIMT) and the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSRs) 2000, with specific focus on the Medium Active Salt Free Evaporator.

In accordance with the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s (ONR’s) Sellafield Strategy, each year ONR performs a series of planned inspections to seek assurance of compliance with selected licence conditions, targeted at those facilities with significant importance to nuclear safety.

Subject(s) of inspection

  • LC27 – Safety mechanisms, devices and circuits (Rating – Green)
  • LC28 – Examination, inspection, maintenance and testing (Rating – Green)
  • PSSR (Rating – Green)

Key findings

The inspection comprised a sample review of relevant documentation, discussions with THORP personnel and a plant walkdown.

I found that there is a clear link between the safety case and the plant maintenance schedule; safety equipment is defined and categorised and requirements for non-availability of safety equipment is evident.

I was satisfied that the safety equipment has been identified and examination, inspection, maintenance and testing has been completed from the sample I selected, with the exception of one item where I am of the opinion that a proof test did not meet the intent of the written schedule following a red pen amendment to the maintenance instruction. I also found that personnel who undertook and provided oversight of the sampled maintenance items were suitably qualified and experienced.

I am satisfied that THORP has adequate oversight of the status of maintenance at the facility, and all Plant Maintenance Schedule items are in date for maintenance, however there are items of non-PMS maintenancethat are out of date for maintenance,and I have asked THORP to review this and assure itself that these items do not affect safety.

I found that THORP has a written scheme of examination for items that come under the scope of the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSRs), as required by Regulation 8. I am also satisfied that THORP is undertaking examinations in accordance with the written scheme.

Overall, I was content with the PSSR arrangements despite some minor shortfalls associated with clarity of the link to the maintenance items captured in the written schemes of examination, for some items. However, I was satisfied that THORP has a plan to improve these.

As a result of this inspection, I have raised one Level 4 regulatory issue, requiring, THORP to redo one maintenance item proof test and to determine if any other items were affected.

It is my opinion that for this inspection a rating of GREEN (no formal action) is appropriate for LCs 27, 28 and PSSRs.

Judgements made

Notwithstanding the shortfalls identified in relation to the red pen amendment to its MI for a proof test and some shortfalls within the written scheme of examination, I am satisfied overall that THORP is compliant with the requirements of LC27, LC28 and PSSRs.

My feedback was accepted by the THORP team on completion of the inspection.