Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Hinkley Point A Nuclear Licensed Site Planned Inspections and Meetings

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report covers my inspection of Magnox Ltd’s Hinckley Point A (HPA) nuclear licensed site between 3 and 6 August 2015. The inspection was undertaken as part of the HPA intervention plan for 2015-16.  It consisted of five compliance inspections and other safety related discussions.  I also met the HPA safety representative.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

During this intervention, I carried out compliance inspections 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 staff morale and other matters they raised.  I held similar discussions with the HPA managers. I also discussed the progress with decommissioning projects on the site.

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

I found information on plant missing from the site schedule that was needed to demonstrate fully how the schedule met the LC16 requirements.  HPA was quick to recognise the omission and showed eagerness to normalise the situation at the earliest opportunity. However because some fundamental information was missing I gave the inspection a rating of below standard in meeting the licence condition.

HPA uses Magnox Ltd procedures to define the roles, responsibilities and processes for categorising proposed modifications and experiments.  It defined how to classify, prepare and assess a safety case, and clearance processes for a modification or experiment.  HPA showed me how the procedures were applied on site. I inspected the documentation for a proposed modification that was going through due process correctly. The evidence gave me confidence that the work undertaken was of a good standard.

I saw evidence that HPA ensured no operations were carried out which may affect safety except under the control and supervision of appointed Suitably Qualified and Experienced Persons (SQEPs).  The Duly Authorised Person (DAP) of the day ensured that each SQEP appointed under LC26 was aware of the work of other SQEPs so that there were no adverse interfaces between operations.  HPA was also quick to correct weaknesses in the system when I pointed out these weaknesses.  I therefore rated the inspection as showing a good standard.

I inspected compliance with LC 35.  I noted that the screening process for the new strategies was at an early stage and the site shared with me their involvement so far.  I therefore gave the inspection an adequate rating.  However, I expressed some concerns that Magnox Ltd should ensure it followed its processes and thereby fully utilising the expertise available at HPA and also involve me at an early stage as the LC35 arrangements require.  I will maintain regulatory engagement on this matter during future inspections at HPA.

I rated the evidence I reviewed as adequately meeting LC36 as it was possible to control any change to HPA’s organisational structure or resources which may affect safety.  There were some minor weaknesses that needed to be considered and I suggested that the documentation should include the effort required from each post to fully justify the safety of any proposed change. 

I met with site safety representatives. We discussed current issues on the site.

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence gathered during this intervention I judged HPA’s compliance with LCs 22 and 26 to be of a good standard, LCs 35 and 36 to be adequate and LC16 to be below standard.  I discussed my findings with the Site Director before I left the site.