Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Sizewell B Power Station – Licence Condition Compliance Inspection of LC32 and LC34 with the Environment Agency

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This was a planned inspection at EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd’s (NGL’s) Sizewell B (SZB) power station, undertaken as part of the planned Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) for the Civil Nuclear Reactor Programme (CNRP) of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

This inspection was performed by the ONR nominated site inspector, a nuclear liabilities specialist and the Environment Agency’s site inspector for Sizewell B.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The inspections carried out covered compliance against the following licence conditions (LC):

During this intervention, the following key activities were also undertaken:

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

No system based inspection was undertaken during this visit so this section is not applicable.

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

The LC32 inspection focussed on the Licensee’s arrangements for the management of radioactive waste, training provided to waste management operatives and the progress to date to minimise the inventory of radioactive waste on site including the plans for managing future arisings generated as part of the planned outage.

Overall, the inspectors considered that the site is proactively managing its accumulated (Low Level Waste) LLW on site, segregating waste and utilising available LLW disposal routes.  The focus on managing radioactive waste accumulations needs to be maintained during the planned outage starting in April 2016.  The arrangements for training and managing the contractors used for processing radioactive waste judged to be adequate.  Based on the evidence sampled the inspectors consider that compliance with LC32 is to an adequate standard and that an IIS rating of 3 (adequate) is appropriate.

With regards to LC34, the inspectors considered that the leak schedule was being managed, with the majority of leaks on the schedule being addressed as part of the outage commencing in April 2016.  Work to undertake a gap analysis of the site’s current arrangements and systems against the revised LC34 corporate arrangements (BEG/SPEC/SHE/ENVI/045) has been delayed.  A final report is due in February, with an implementation plan to address any shortfalls to be developed shortly after this.  The nuclear liabilities specialist inspector has raised concerns over the delays with the corporate lead and ONR issue 4167 has been raised to track progress.  Based on the evidence sampled, the inspectors consider that compliance with LC32 is to an adequate standard and that an IIS rating of 3 (adequate) is appropriate.

Discussion with the site independent nuclear assurance evaluators was open and constructive providing confidence that a robust internal oversight function is in place.  No matters of significant concern were discussed that I consider require a regulatory action or issue to be raised at this time.

The station is making progress with the plant improvements and upgrades that will increase the preparedness and resilience to beyond design basis events.

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

From the evidence obtained during this intervention, the arrangements for compliance with LC32 and LC34 were judged to be adequate.  ONR Issue Number 4167 was raised to track progress of the site’s current arrangements and systems against the revised LC34 corporate arrangements.  This will be monitored as part of normal regulatory business.

Notwithstanding the above issue, there are no findings from this inspection that could significantly undermine nuclear safety on the station at this time. Consequently, no additional regulatory action is needed over and above the planned interventions of Sizewell B power station as set out in the Integrated Intervention Strategy, which will continue as planned.