Date(s) of inspection:
Aim of inspection
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 against selected licence conditions, targeted at those facilities with significant importance to nuclear safety. One such inspection was undertaken at Special Nuclear Materials (SNM) facilities North within the Sellafield site in West Cumbria to sample evidence of implementation of Sellafield Limited’s arrangements for compliance with Licence Condition (LC) 32 in order to inform a regulatory judgement regarding the licensee’s compliance with its legal duties under the nuclear site licence.
Subject(s) of inspection
- LC 32 – Accumulation of radioactive waste – Rating: GREEN
Key findings, inspector’s opinions and reasons for judgement made
The joint ONR and Environment Agency inspection was undertaken on 6 July 2023 by the Special Nuclear Materials (SNM) site inspector, two nuclear liabilities regulation specialist inspectors (as part of handover duties) and two environment agency inspectors. The inspection targeted compliance against Licence Condition (LC) 32 (Accumulation of radioactive waste) in SNM North on the Sellafield site.
The inspection involved a planning phase and a site visit, including facilities walkdown, discussions with relevant Sellafield Limited personnel, review of records, and sampling of information contained within electronic databases and other documentation.
Overall, Sellafield Limited has implemented a number of improvements which led to a reduction in the amount of waste generated by the facility, and a reduction to the amount of waste held in the facility, compared with previous years. Sellafield Limited appeared to have a good understanding of what is waste and its location. Sellafield Limited appeared dedicated to improving waste management at all levels of the waste management hierarchy by stopping potential waste coming into the facility, and segregating waste to more appropriate disposal routes. Despite the clear improvements, the facility have some minor deviations from the Sellafield Limited corporate arrangements, and we gave regulatory advice in these areas, as appropriate.
On the basis of evidence sampled and the interactions that we held with Sellafield Limited staff, at the time of the inspection, we judge that on balance Sellafield Limited has largely implemented its arrangements in compliance with LC32 (Accumulation of radioactive waste). Upon consideration of the ONR guidance on inspection ratings, we judge that a rating of GREEN (no formal action) is appropriate.