Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sellafield – Inspection ID: 50536

Executive summary

Date(s) of inspection:

  • October 2022

Aim of inspection

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

The purpose of this inspection is to sample evidence of implementation of Sellafield Limited arrangements for compliance with Licence Conditions (LCs) 12 (Duly authorised and other suitably qualified and experienced persons), and 26 (Control and Supervision of Operations), specifically within the Highly Active Liquor Evaporation and Storage (HALES) facility at the Sellafield site in West Cumbria, in order to inform a regulatory judgement regarding the licensee’s compliance with its legal duties under the nuclear site licence. The inspection also allows ONR to test the dutyholder’s progress with related open corporate Regulatory Issues, as applicable.

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, inspector’s opinions and reasons for judgement made

The inspection comprised discussions with Sellafield Limited staff and a review of the records and documents relevant to compliance with LCs 12 and 26.

For LC 12, we identified no shortfalls requiring regulatory attention. We found evidence that Suitably Qualified and Experienced Persons (SQEPs) had been duly appointed. We observed effective collaboration between the Sellafield Limited off-going and oncoming Duly Authorised Persons (DAPs) and Appointed SQEPs (ASQEPs) during plant handovers, which were supported by appropriate records.

For LC 26, we identified no shortfalls requiring immediate regulatory attention. We found that SQEP personnel had been appointed and were effectively controlling and supervising operations. We provided regulatory advice in relation to the Leader in the Field programme at HALES, noting that the facility should consider how it captures the learning from these activities. We judged that this did not warrant raising a Regulatory Issue (RI). We identified a minor shortfall in relation to the oversight provided by the alarm review group at HALES against the Sellafield Limited corporate arrangements. We raised one level 4 (i.e., lowest level) RI to capture this minor shortfall.


On the basis of evidence sampled during the inspection, the inspection team judged that Sellafield Limited is compliant with the requirements of LCs 12 and 26 at the HALES. We assigned an inspection rating of GREEN in respect of both LCs.