Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Hinkley Point B - Planned intervention

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This was a planned inspection of EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd’s (NGL’s) Hinkley Point B power station, undertaken as part of the planned intervention strategy for the Civil Nuclear Reactor Programme (CNRP) of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

The work was carried out in line with the planned inspection programme contained in the Hinkley Point B Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS).

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

I (the nominated site inspector for Hinkley Point B) and a specialist ONR fuels inspector:

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

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable – the system was judged to be adequate.

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

From the system based inspection on fuel assemblies we concluded that:

Overall, we concluded that the arrangements and their implementation associated with fuel assemblies met the requirements of the safety case and was deemed to be adequate.

For licence condition 4 (restriction on nuclear matter on the site) we concluded that the site was following its procedures for controlling nuclear matter on the site including safety cases, procedures, dedicated facilities and records management.  We therefore assigned an IIS rating of 3, (adequate) to this inspection.

I was unable to meet face to face with the site internal regulator (Independent Nuclear Assurance – INA) on this occasion but did discuss progress with key issues on site via telephone.  I will meet with INA whilst next on site.

A significant near miss event occurred on the pile cap when an outage closure plug was ejected from a buffer storage tube. There were no nuclear safety implications or damage to the plant, no fuel was involved and nobody was injured (although operators were in the immediate vicinity).  ONR carried out initial enquiries to determine what happened and what action had been/is being taken by the licensee.

I was satisfied with the information exchanged during meetings with station staff on a range of topics including recent Safety Rules events, plant configuration control, compliance with pressure system safety regulations, issues on Reactor 3 including standpipe temperatures, generator transformer 7 and progress with the significant safety case developments.

Conclusion of Intervention

There are no findings from this inspection that could significantly undermine nuclear safety.