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Improvement Notice served on Sellafield Ltd

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has served an Improvement Notice to Sellafield Ltd following an incident at the Cumbria site in February, 2019.

There was no harm to people or the environment as a consequence of the incident, but ONR requires a number of improvements to reduce the risk of a recurrence.

The incident took place in the Waste Vitrification Plant, at the High Level Waste Plant, on 7 February 2019. A failure by Sellafield Ltd to adequately follow their procedures resulted in the vitrified waste container being decontaminated without the container lid being welded shut. Sellafield Ltd immediately ceased operations and there was no release of radioactivity.

The notice relates to a breach of Nuclear Site Licence conditions 10, 12 and 24 and requires Sellafield Ltd to improve training provided to the Container Handling and Waste team; undertake a review and revision of the Container Handling and Waste operating instructions; and put in place suitable and sufficient measures to ensure that all container handling and waste operations are carried out in accordance with these operating instructions.

Sellafield Ltd must comply with the requirements of the notice by 31 January, 2020.