Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Hunterston B - Planned Intervention

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to undertake Licence Condition (LC) compliance inspections at EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd’s (NGL’s) Hunterston B power station, in line with the planned inspection programme contained in the Hunterston B Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) for 2015/16.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

This intervention included compliance inspections against the following Licence Conditions:

A specialist inspector and I also undertook preliminary enquiries into an imminent danger notification issued to ONR on 28 January 2016 in accordance with Regulation 10 of the pressure systems safety regulations (PSSR).

During this visit I also attended a monthly update meeting with the station INA evaluators and discussed the status of outstanding regulatory issues with the nuclear safety group head.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable as no system inspection was undertaken during this intervention.

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

I undertook a compliance inspection of Licence Condition 12, during which I sampled for station compliance with its arrangements in the following areas:

This inspection was undertaken jointly with the SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency) site inspector who examined compliance against parallel duties under the Radioactive Substances Act (RSA) 1993 in relation to the requirements for suitably qualified and experienced persons.

The arrangements present, in my opinion, an adequate route map to arrangements that define post profiles, assessment and authorisation and re-authorisation. I sampled the associated qualification manuals for control room supervisors (DAP) and operator technicians (SQEP) and verified that associated training records and authorisations (where relevant) were up-to-date. I observed some minor inconsistencies within the station and company arrangements which have since been clarified through an appropriate condition report.

I also met with a DAP to examine and discuss his qualification, training and competency records. During this interaction he displayed an appropriate awareness of the nuclear site licence and the most pertinent licence conditions applicable to his DAP role; he was articulate in his responsibility as a DAP in controlling operation and the condition of nuclear fuel within the boundaries of the safety case derived limits and conditions.

I was satisfied the station is working to appropriately mature arrangements for ensuring that operations are carried out by suitably qualified and experienced persons; the station has demonstrably working arrangements for nominating and authorising duly authorised persons     

The PSSR Regulation 10 notification relates to observations made by the competent person during the in-service examination of a standpipe closure pressure test vessel in accordance with the written scheme of examination. A specialist inspector and I met with the station to examine the progress of its own investigation findings thus far; we also met with a representative from the competent person organisation, Bureau Veritas. We were assured that the affected system had been made safe at the time of the scheduled examination and that the station’s investigation is appropriately thorough. ONR will review the outcome of the station’s investigation when complete and monitor the timely implementation of corrective actions; a regulatory issue has been raised accordingly.

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

I have allocated an IIS rating of 3 – Adequate for Licence Condition 12.

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