Office for Nuclear Regulation

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System Inspection and Planned Compliance Inspections

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report covers an inspection of Magnox Ltd’s Hinkley Point A (HPA) nuclear licensed site on 26-28 May 2015. The inspection was undertaken as part of a programme of planned interventions in the HPA intervention plan for 2015-16.  It consisted of a system inspection of the work HPA was undertaking to empty three of its settling tanks and three compliance inspections.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

During this intervention, I carried out a systems based inspection focused on systems required for emptying settling tanks and a compliance inspection on licence conditions (LC):

I used ONR’s published inspection guidance associated with the LCs and also examined how: HPA used Magnox Ltd procedures to meet the LCs; HPA records of the outcome; and discussions with HPA staff.

While on site I met safety representatives to discuss their views on the effect of the recent announcement of staff reductions and other matters they raised.  I held similar discussions with the HPA managers. I also discussed the status of actions previously agreed with the site and raised new actions resulting from my interventions during the inspections.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

My system inspection indicated that the link HPA had made between the safety case for emptying the three mild steel settling tanks and the associated system LCs was of a good standard. I noted that HPA should consider suggesting to Magnox Ltd that the arrangements it has adopted might be of value for wider use across the Magnox fleet.

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

I inspected compliance with LC11, emergency arrangements, against ONR’s site inspection guidance. I noted that the site arrangements followed closely Magnox Ltd’s central procedures.  I judged the HPA arrangements and their implementation to be adequate.

I inspected compliance with LC 35, decommissioning.  I was satisfied that HPA’s arrangements aligned with ONR guidance and the arrangements were adequately implemented.  I noted that the decommissioning programme may change as a result of Magnox Ltd’s proposal to use alternative approaches to those currently in the programme.  New safety justifications will be required with site input before the changes are implemented.

I inspected compliance with LC 36, organisational capability. I was satisfied that the arrangements and their implementation broadly met the ONR guidance. I rated compliance with LC 36 to be adequate.  However I will need to revisit this aspect of licence compliance to ensure proposed staff reductions do not impinge on the ability to maintain nuclear safety.

I met with site safety representatives. We discussed current issues and plans on site and I feedback my interaction with the safety representatives to the HPA management.

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence gathered during this intervention I judged HPA’s compliance with LCs 11, 35 and 36 to be adequate. During my system inspection I saw some areas of good practice and during my compliance inspections I raised some actions where I though improvements may be made.  I will follow up the actions as part of my routine regulatory interactions with HPA.