Office for Nuclear Regulation

This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience. You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information.

Dungeness A fire safety inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of the planned inspection was to ensure that the Licensee was showing compliance with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The inspection focused on both the management of fire safety and the practical fire safety provision at Dungeness A. The legislation focuses on life fire safety not nuclear fire safety issues. The Fire Safety Coordinator (FSC) was notified of the themes and areas to be inspected and was requested to provide pre-audit material to assist in the process; the material was provided in a timely fashion.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The site gave access throughout the day to senior managers and subject area experts. Accompanying me throughout the inspection was the Fire Safety Coordinator (FSC), the Head of Safety (HoS) and the Shift Technician (ST). The FSC, who is relatively new in post, also holds the role of a Shift Leader. These individuals were able to provide answers to questions and provide evidence of the sites’ fire safety arrangements.

During my inspection, I challenged those accompanying me and others about procedures and approaches to the practical application of maintaining adequate fire safety provision. I questioned personnel to test the effectiveness and knowledge of arrangements. I examined several documents prior to my arrival on site. Part of the day included a walk through areas of the site mentioned in 1 above. Particular attention was paid to the practical application of the fire safety strategy. This element of the inspection involved a detailed look at the physical application of both active and passive fire safety provisions.

I took the opportunity throughout the walk down phase of my inspection to point out examples of obstacles and fire safety issues that are likely to compromise the application of the fire safety strategy that is in place.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not Applicable

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

Key Findings

My overall impression was one of a management team which demonstrated a desire to ensure that fire safety is taken seriously and is given the due consideration it deserves. I did identify aspects of the fire safety strategy within the Active Effluent Water Treatment Plant (AEWTP) that requires further consideration. This site has produced a decommissioning phase fire safety strategy, which is to be commended. I believe the strategy should now be reviewed following the decision not to include an Interim Care and Maintenance phase to the life cycle of this site. It is important that the FSC receives the support and assistance from the site lead team in order to ensure his continued development in the role. Site management have identified the application of fire safety as a key element of the overall safety regime for those persons that work across the site. I have reinforced the need to ensure that fire safety is considered as early as possible in all the projects that are on-going and in particular those projects planned for the future. Dungeness A is expected to be the busiest site within the Magnox fleet of sites over the next few years.

I did identify a number of shortfalls with the application of the expected fire safety standards described in more detail in the main body of the report which will be followed up to satisfactory closure as part of the post inspection procedure.

Inspectors Opinions

I am of the opinion that the Dungeness A Management Team displayed an appreciation of the importance of effective fire safety measures and that overall they show a desire to ensure that compliance with the relevant legislation is achieved.

Reasons for judgements made

The inspection involved a combination of looking into the management of fire safety and physically walking through a selection of facilities / project areas. I questioned and challenged observations with those that accompanied me.

Conclusion of Intervention

I concluded with an assessment of compliance with the legislation, and presented deficiencies and recognised areas of good practice at a wash-up meeting with the site management.

A number of issues require formal action to be taken along with a number of minor issues that when addressed will improve the current site arrangements.  I will continue to liaise with the EHSS&Q Manager to confirm that they are resolved in a timely fashion.