Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Heysham 2 - R8 Stat Outage - Radiological Protection and Start-up Consent

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This intervention report is on an inspection I undertook at Heysham 2 (HYB) power station, in relation to the 2016 statutory outage of reactor Unit 8. It was conducted as part of a series of planned interventions related to the HYB statutory outage.

The aim of this intervention was to establish whether EDF Energy, Nuclear Generation Ltd’s (the Licensee) statutory outage work programme for HYB, scheduled for completion between 16th September and the 22nd November 2016, was being conducted in compliance with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999. Relevant ONR guidance was used during the inspection, in particular, Nuclear Safety Technical Inspection Guide, NS-INSP-GD-054 Revision 4, The Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999.

My conclusions on these matters informed the development of my overall opinion of the Licensee’s readiness to bring reactor Unit 8 back to power in due course.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The following matters were addressed during the intervention:

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

No safety system inspection was undertaken, hence this is not applicable.

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

My inspection did not reveal any significant nuclear safety issues, relevant to reactor Unit 8 start-up in due course, that required action by the Licensee or follow-up by ONR. My discussions with the Head of Radiological Protection at the Station and her team indicated their strong commitment to effective radiological protection practice and a good level of compliance with the IRR99 was evident during plant inspections; Accordingly, I have assigned an IIS rating of Green.

The Station has for some time recognised that the number of personal contamination events (PCEs) is higher than desirable, is trending in the wrong direction, and that action was needed to reduce the number. A Level 4 issue has been raised to monitor progress after a year’s operation of the ALARP Committee Working Group on reducing the number of PCEs.

Conclusion of Intervention

From a radiological protection standpoint, I was content with the Licensee’s conduct of its statutory outage work programme and with its level of compliance with the IRR99.

On the basis of my inspection of the IRR99 aspects of the Unit 8 outage, I recommend that support be given for a Consent under licence condition 30 to allow Unit 8 at the Station to return to normal operating service.