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Sellafield Ltd complies with Improvement Notice

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has confirmed that Sellafield Ltd has complied with a site wide Improvement Notice served in December 2020 following a number of electrical safety incidents across the site.

Among the electrical safety incidents was an event in which a worker sustained serious injuries in April 2020 as he carried out work on high voltage equipment at an electrical substation on the Cumbrian site.

The male employee sustained 15-20% burns and remained in hospital for several weeks. Sellafield Ltd was fined £320,000 in court following a prosecution after pleading guilty to an offence under Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (1974).

The company has now complied with the Improvement Notice by the deadline set by ONR.

They have taken steps to improve electrical safety across the site with significant improvements made to the training and supervision of staff who carry out electrical work, which we considered to be root cause factors. Improvements have also been made to their electrical tools and test equipment, electrical instructions and to the electrical safety rules and guidance.

Superintending Inspector Kulvinder McDonald, from ONR, said: “Sellafield Ltd has responded well to the improvement notice, and we are satisfied that the electrical safety improvement programme they have introduced has addressed the shortfalls identified by my team of inspectors.

“My team will continue to closely monitor Sellafield Ltd’s performance in this area to ensure that the improvements are maintained, and we will have no hesitation in taking action if further shortfalls are identified.”

The incidents that led to the issuing of this Improvement Notice were all related to electrical safety. These events did not pose any radiological risk to workers or the public.