Regulating Sellafield

Regulating Sellafield nuclear site and monitoring west Cumbria beaches.

Sellafield nuclear site is one of the most complex and hazardous industrial sites in Europe. The site:

  • retrieves waste from legacy facilities
  • decommissions redundant buildings
  • manages spent fuel, including Magnox and oxide fuel reprocessing
  • safely manages and stores nuclear materials and radioactive waste

The site is operated by Sellafield Ltd.

Nuclear regulation

The Environment Agency regulates discharges and radioactive waste disposals from Sellafield. It sets stringent discharge limits in Sellafield Ltd’s environmental permit and makes sure the company minimises discharges and their impacts on people and the environment.

You can request a copy of the environmental permit from the public register.

The Environment Agency regulates Sellafield Ltd with the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

Nuclear regulators provide reports to the West Cumbria Sites Stakeholder Group.

See more information about radioactive substances regulation for nuclear sites.

Environmental monitoring

Monitoring the environment for radioactivity around nuclear sites helps assess the potential impact from the site on people and the environment. Some of the monitoring is done by nuclear site operators and some is done independently by the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency publishes monitoring results with Natural Resources Wales, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland in the annual Radioactivity in food and the environment report.

Sellafield Ltd carry out environmental monitoring for radioactive objects on west Cumbria beaches. The Environment Agency assesses the results and suitability of this beach monitoring programme.


Nuclear regulation group (north)

Telephone: 020 3025 5873



Published 1 December 2013