Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Hartlepool - Planned Compliance inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to undertake compliance inspection activities at EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited’s (NGL) Hartlepool power station in line with the ONR’s planned inspection programme contained in the Hartlepool Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) for 2016/17.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

We performed a system based inspection (SBI) to confirm the implementation of safety claims made on the station’s irradiated fuel disposal facility (IFDF). This inspection was undertaken by the ONR site inspector and a specialist mechanical engineering inspector. During this intervention we examined the Licence’s compliance with the following nuclear site licence conditions (LCs):

In addition, the ONR site inspector undertook the following interventions on the site:

Routine compliance inspection of NGL’s arrangements to prepare for seasonal weather variations and marine debris ingress.

Routine compliance inspection to evaluate NGL’s Operational Experience processes in accordance with LC7 (Incidents on Site).

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

Following a system based inspection of the IFDF, we judge that this system adequately fulfils the requirements of the safety case.

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

SBI: Irradiated Fuel Disposal Facility (IFDF)

From the areas targeted and the evidence examined during this inspection, we consider that NGL has implemented adequately those safety case claims that relate to the Hartlepool IFDF. The inspection identified several areas of good practice including the use of system health tools by the engineering team to prioritise investment to address ageing of plant and equipment.

We identified that some improvements could be made to the categorisation of preventative maintenance activities. These improvements would ensure that work undertaken to demonstrate correct operation of systems claimed in the safety case is identified on the station’s maintenance schedule rather than the station’s general maintenance catalogue.

We identified two instances whereby maintenance test results were slightly outside acceptance criteria. We are satisfied that these anomalies have no significant impact on nuclear safety, but consider the observations provide an opportunity to improve performance. NGL has acknowledged these areas for improvement and raised actions to address them. Two ONR regulatory issues have been raised to monitor completion of this work.

Overall we judged that the arrangements for safe operation of the IFDF and their implementation generally met relevant good practice and therefore we have given an intervention rating of Green in relation to compliance with LCs 10, 23, 24, 27, 28 and 36.

Arrangements for manage seasonal weather variations and marine debris ingress

We examined NGL’s arrangements to ensure that essential systems are in an appropriate configuration to operate reliably during winter conditions. We sampled the application of these arrangements to a bulk fuel oil system which forms part the station’s backup electrical generation system.

We are satisfied that NGL has effective arrangements to assess the risk arising for winter weather conditions and based on a sample inspection, I judge that implementation of these arrangements at Hartlepool Power Station is generally consistent with relevant good practice. We are satisfied that potential opportunities for improvement are being addressed by NGL’s routine management processes. This intervention was not rated against a site licence condition.

Operational Experience

We undertook an inspection against site licence condition 7 which examined NGL’s systems to implement learning identified from NGL’s own internal reporting and investigation of incidents. Based on a sample inspection of incidents on Hartlepool power station and corrective actions undertaken by the station we are satisfied that NGL has effective processes to manage and monitor the timely implementation of learning. Overall, I judge that the standard of compliance to be generally in accordance with relevant good practice and award the following inspection rating against LC7: Green.

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence gathered during these inspections, it was judged that there were no matters that have the potential to impact significantly on nuclear safety.

At present, no additional regulatory action is needed over and above the planned interventions of Hartlepool power station as set out in the IIS, which will continue as planned.