Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned compliance inspection at Hartlepool Power Station, EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited (NGL)

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

We undertook an intervention to evaluate NGL’s arrangements and resources to respond to an emergency at Hartlepool Power Station. Our inspection evaluated NGL’s capability to respond to a chemical accident in accordance with the station's Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP), prepared under the Control of Major Accident Hazard (COMAH) Regulations. We also evaluated the Station’s capability to deal with severe accidents involving radiological hazards, in accordance with site licence condition 11 (emergency arrangements), and ONR’s safety assessment principles.

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 – no system based inspections were performed during this intervention.

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

In respect to NGL’s arrangements for responding to a chemical accident on the site, we were satisfied that the safety management system implemented the claims made in the MAPP. Based on our sample inspection, we found that COMAH critical equipment, identified to detect or mitigate the consequences of a chemical accident, was subject to routine examination maintenance or testing to ensure its continued availability. We found that NGL’s plans to respond to a potential chlorine release, which is a scenario identified in the MAPP, was less developed than for other scenarios. NGL agreed to review the relevant section of their emergency handbook. Progress will be monitored during future visits to the station and recorded via an entry on the ONR issues database.

NGL have implemented a range of modifications to enhance the Station’s resilience and capability to deal with severe accidents, implementing lessons learned from the incident at Fukushima. We interviewed a sample of staff performing roles within the station’s emergency scheme and found that these personnel had an effective understanding of this enhanced capability and demonstrated a sound appreciation of severe accident management guidelines. We also found that the Station had developed effective instructions to facilitate the deployment of equipment stored in NGL’s regional depot under a range of arduous conditions. We identified a number of instances where NGL have further work to fully complete the implementation of their modifications. NGL agreed to provide a target date for completion of this work. Progress will be monitored via the site inspector during future visits and recorded via an entry on the ONR issues database.

Overall we judged that arrangements for severe accident management generally met relevant good practice and therefore we have given an intervention rating of Green in relation to compliance with LC11.

Conclusion of Intervention

There are no findings from this inspection that could significantly undermine nuclear safety and no change to the planned interventions and inspections of Hartlepool are required. Two entries have been made on the ONR Issues database to manage the actions arising from this inspection.