Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned Compliance Inspection at Hartlepool Power Station

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to undertake planned compliance inspection activities at EDF Nuclear Generation Limited’s (NGL’s) Hartlepool power station in line with the 2015/16 Hartlepool Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS).

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

Assisted by an ONR specialist (Chemistry) inspector, I performed a system based inspection to confirm the implementation of safety claims made for the CO2 Processing and Blowdown system. I examined the Licence’s compliance with the following licence conditions (LCs):

In addition, I undertook the following interventions on the site:

I undertook a routine compliance inspection to evaluate the site’s Operational Experience processes.

I undertook a routine compliance inspection to evaluate compliance with the requirements of LC16 (site plans designs and specifications).

I attended the site’s Health Environment and Safety Advisory Committee and held meetings with members of the site’s management team.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

On the basis of the evidence sampled during this inspection, I judged that the system meets the requirements of the safety case and is adequate.

Key Findings, Inspector's Opinions and Reasons for Judgements Made

From an LC10 perspective, staff training records and profiles were judged to be in accordance with the requirements for the roles performed. One anomaly of an administrative nature was identified, which NGL agreed to address used their internal process. The licensee demonstrated an effective knowledge and understanding in the areas of the safety case examined. I judged the LC10 element of this inspection to be adequate, warranting an associated Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) rating of 3 - adequate.

From an LC23 and LC24 perspective, based on the evidence sampled during this inspection, the technical specifications and station operating instructions were judged to be adequately aligned with claims presented within safety case. I judged the LC23 and LC24 element of this inspection to be adequate, warranting an IIS rating 3 - adequate.

I found that NGL’s list of essential systems included the principal components sampled during this inspection. I considered the arrangements for LC27 to have been adequately implemented and warrant an associated IIS rating of 3 - adequate.

I undertook a sample inspection of the examination, inspection, maintenance and testing regime of components important to nuclear safety. Overall, the maintenance regime was judged to be adequate, although NGL agreed to review the planned preventative maintenance regime for small bore oxygen and methane pipework. I consider that an IIS rating of 3 (adequate) is appropriate against LC28.

From an LC34 perspective, I consider that review self-assessment of LC34 undertaken at Hartlepool to be an example of good practice. The review clearly identifies the means by which leaks are prevented and detected from sampled systems and I judge an IIS rating of 2 (Good Standard) is warranted.

I found that NGL has made significant progress in strengthening Operating Experience processes at Hartlepool, since an ONR inspection in 2014 in which areas for improvement were identified. NGL intends to continue to make improvements in this area during 2016. This inspection identified areas for improvement in relation to oversight and delivery of self-assessment and benchmarking plans and processes to review of the effectiveness of corrective actions. I judge that an IIS rating of 4 (below standard) is appropriate against LC7, with recognition that further improvements are still to be made to the site’s Operating Experience processes. I am content that performance in this area will continue to improve if the site continues on its current trajectory.

On the basis of sample visual inspection, I confirmed that the site plan adequately represented the safety significant buildings and boundaries on the site. I consider that the site plan is being adequately managed and updated, warranting an IIS rating of 3 (adequate) against LC16.

The intervention was performed in line with ONR’s guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides) in the areas inspected.

Conclusion of Intervention

After considering the evidence examined during the inspections undertaken against LCs 10, 23, 24, 27 28, and 34, I considered that the CO2 Processing and Blowdown system meets the requirements of the safety case.

Two ONR Issues have been raised to manage my findings in relation to:

There are no findings from this inspection that could significantly undermine nuclear safety and no change to the planned interventions and inspections of Hartlepool.