Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sellafield – Inspection ID: 51937

Executive summary

Date(s) of inspection:

  • December 2022

Aim of inspection

Gain assurance that Spent Fuel Services (SFS) is compliant with Sellafield Ltd’s arrangements for Licence Condition (LC) 27 (Safety mechanisms, devices and circuits) and LC28 (Examination, inspection, maintenance and testing) (EIMT) with a focus on the Fuel Handling Plant.

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

Key findings, inspector’s opinions and reasons for judgement made

I undertook an inspection of Spent Fuel Services’ (SFS) implementation of the Sellafield Site arrangements for LC27 (Safety mechanisms, devices and circuits) and LC28 (Examination, inspection, maintenance and testing). I found that safety mechanisms, devices and circuits are defined within the SFS safety documentation I sampled and there is a requirement not to use equipment if they are unavailable or if no substitution arrangements are available.

I found that equipment is being maintained in accordance with the required schedule and personnel undertaking maintenance activities are suitably qualified and experienced. Persons supervising maintenance are appointed.

I reviewed the non-delivered maintenance and identified that non-delivered items had been adequately justified and the correct process followed; I was also satisfied that assurance activities were being undertaken.

During the plant walkdown I found some minor problems with equipment, but not to the extent that it would not fulfil its safety function; SFS raised condition reports to address my observations.

On reviewing maintenance instructions, I found that one document appeared not to accurately reflect the safety case, pre-requisites were not included within the detail of the instruction and there was an inconsistency in how the cranes were referred to; I have advised SFS to review similar instructions, and have raised a level 4 regulatory issue (lowest level) to address this shortfall.

Overall, I was satisfied that SFS has implemented the Sellafield   Site’s arrangements and rate both LC27 and LC28 as Green (no formal action).


Overall, I was satisfied that the safety mechanisms, devices and circuits were identified, were linked to the safety case and had links to the PMS. On the basis of what I found within the LC28 part of the inspection (the equipment was in good working order and connected), I am content to rate LC27 as Green (no formal action).

For LC28 I was satisfied  that the arrangements are being followed and that  equipment  is being maintained in accordance with the appropriate schedule. There were several minor matters where regulatory  advice was given, and I have raised a level 4 regulatory issue  to address a shortfall with a maintenance  instruction; however notwithstanding these minor  shortfalls, I am of the opinion that a rating of Green for LC28 is appropriate.