Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sellafield – Inspection ID: 51071

Executive summary

Date(s) of inspection:

  • January 2023

Aim of inspection

The aim of this inspection is to inspect against compliance with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO).

This inspection focuses on matters relating to life fire safety.

The purpose of this inspection is to gain assurance that Sellafield Limited has met its responsibilities as the Responsible Person by the legislation referenced above. It is also to gain assurance that this specific facility’s fire safety management and system arrangements are adequately implemented, effective and integrated to ensure the required application of the general fire precautions.

Subject(s) of inspection

  • Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – Rating: Green

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

An inspection of the Main Site Command Facility (MSCF) at Sellafield Limited  was undertaken as part of the planned Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) for the Sellafield, Decommissioning, Fuel and Waste Division (SDFW) of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

The purpose of this inspection was to inspect against compliance with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO).

The inspection focussed on both the management of fire safety and the practical fire safety provision within the facility identified above.

I examined a series of documents prior to my arrival on site.

I used the relevant legislation relating to this inspection to focus on life fire safety, not nuclear fire safety issues.

I carried out a walk-down of all areas of the buildings and paid particular attention to the practical application of the Sellafield Limited fire safety strategy for the facilities.

During my inspection, I challenged those accompanying me about procedures and approaches to the practical application of maintaining adequate fire safety provision.

I held discussions with relevant persons to assess the approach being taken to the management of fire safety and the testing and maintenance of the fire safety systems across this facility. I had a particular focus on the Fire Alarm and Detection Systems, Fire Suppression Systems, Emergency Lighting and Fire Dampers.

I questioned personnel to test effectiveness and knowledge of arrangements


In its current operating mode (commissioning and transitional mode) I am satisfied that the facility does not pose a threat to the safety from fire of those who currently occupy it. The MSCF is provided with a L1 / P1 Fire Alarm and Detection System (FADS) and has sufficient means of escape in more than one direction to afford escape within the prescribed travel distances.

I identified a number of issues during my inspection which are required to be addressed or substantiated before ONR issues final permissions for Command Transition of the MSCF.

Clarity must be provided regarding any desire to deviate from the current fire safety strategy.

A number of areas of clarity are required relating to the issues I have identified to offer an opportunity to fully determine the suitability of the fire safety arrangements in the MSCF following its transition to an operating command facility.

I have raised a Level 4 (lowest level) Regulatory Issue to manage and monitor progress against the matters identified in the “evidence” section of this report. This inspection has been given a GREEN, no formal action, rating since it considers the conditions in relation to the facility and its current use. The activities within the MSCF do not require the application of a stay put policy and there are no restrictions on the use of any escape routes. The current evacuation strategy is based on immediate evacuation of all personnel on the sounding of the fire alarm system. I am satisfied that there are no challenges to escape route distances. As referenced within my report there are numerous challenges and clarifications required to the use of the MSCF as described within the Fire Strategy.