Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Conventional fire safety inspection at Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

I conducted an audit of conventional fire safety at Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station to gain evidence of compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The intervention also aimed to recognise best practice and encourage a pro-active style of safety management and promote continual improvements in fire safety.

Generally the fire safety arrangements were ADEQUATE

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

As part of this intervention, I reviewed the current status of new fire alarm and detection system and reviewed the fire safety management arrangements which were implemented during the recent outage. I also followed-up on the actions of the emergency response team during the fire incident involving the high pressure back up cooling systems (HPBUCs). Part of the day also included a tour of the turbine hall where I paid particular attention to the basement level as this is the highest risk area. I also visited the fire station to examine the water tender and the HPBUCs building.

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

Additional training is required for the fire response team particularly in connection with firefighting capability and operational preparedness.

Major changes to means of escape from the Turbine Hall basement had occurred during the recent outage when a staircase was taken out of use. Although the impact of removing this escape route had been assessed, the supporting evidence and fire engineering justification had not been recorded in the Fire Risk Assessment document.

Overall, during discussions around preventative and protective measures I identified a wide range of good examples of pro-active fire safety management.

I am of the opinion that the Site displayed an appreciation of the importance of effective fire safety measures within the facilities I inspected and that overall they show a desire to achieve compliance with the relevant legislation.

Reasons for judgements made

The inspection involved a combination of examining fire safety management arrangements and physically walking through a number of facilities and speaking with staff. I questioned and challenged management teams and others that I met during the course of the day.

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence gathered during this intervention, I do not believe there are any deficiencies that seriously impact on fire safety. No additional regulatory action is needed over and above the planned interventions as set out in the Integrated Intervention Strategy, which will continue as planned.