Office for Nuclear Regulation

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EDF Energy - Nuclear Generation Ltd - Hunterston B Planned Intervention

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to undertake Licence Condition (LC) compliance inspections at EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd's (NGL's) Hunterston B power station, in line with the planned inspection programme contained in the Hunterston B Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) for 2016/17.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

This intervention included compliance inspections against the following Licence Conditions:

I also attended a monthly update meeting with the station INA evaluators.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable as no system inspection was undertaken during this intervention.

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

In relation to LC 19, I:

Examined the station's governance and control of portfolio project delivery. I visited the projects 'war room' which continues to provide high visibility to all the elements of the investment delivery and project controls processes that govern delivery of portfolio projects. Personnel I met during the visit were complimentary to this inclusive approach and I noted a recent LRQA (Lloyds Register Quality Assurance) audit which recognised the war room approach to constitute good practice. The milestone tracker provides clear line of sight to all portfolio projects against their status and relative priorities.

Examined the process for managing and prioritising technical queries. Since my previous visit in December 2015, sentencing and closure times of technical queries (TQs) have continued to improve (from 2-3 week turnaround down to 5-7 days on average). This has been the result of more expeditious management of straightforward TQs through in-house capability.

Reviewed the station's progress towards implementing the CO2 improvements project. Following the programme re-baseline in December 2015, the station explained that the project remains on plan for delivery of stage submission 9 (handover to operations) in July 2017; delays experienced in materials supply have been offset by time savings acquired from greater definition of the commissioning strategy.

Examined the station's forecast for investment in portfolio projects up to 2018 (as part of the medium term plan). I am encouraged that the station has continued to commit to investment in plant and safety case related improvements during this period.

In relation to LC 24, I:

Reviewed the station's approach to procedural use adherence against the company arrangements and in the context of a long-standing regulatory issue. The station's human performance (HU) presented a self-assessment of progress to date against a long-standing ONR issue and a WANO (World Association of Nuclear Operators) area for improvement identified in 2015; the station proposes to consolidate this work into a single programme. I am therefore satisfied that the existing and proposed programmes of work provide an appropriate basis to address the outstanding aspects of ONR issue 2491. I therefore propose to recommend closure of this legacy issue to the sub-programme board.

Reviewed the station operating instructions and their ongoing programme of update. I met with the operational services group head to discuss the programme for implementing thirty-three new station operating instructions (SOIs). Noting that at least eighteen months have lapsed since the new SOIs were proposed, I have proposed a Level 4 regulatory issue as a basis for tracking this matter.

Undertook task evaluations during which I observed procedural use and human performance tools. Appropriate use of place-keeping and demonstrable use of human performance tools (point-touch-verbalise and time-out-for-personal-safety) was displayed. The station HU lead provided useful coaching at the end of the task, suggesting further improvements; all staff involved in the task were engaged and self-identified areas for improvement.

The intervention was performed in line with ONR's guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides) in the areas inspected.

Conclusion of Intervention

In relation to LC 19, I considered that an inspection rating of 'Green' is warranted on the basis that relevant good practice is generally being met, but with some minor shortfalls identified.

In relation to LC 24, I considered that an inspection rating of 'Green' is warranted on the basis that relevant good practice is generally being met, but with some minor shortfalls identified.

There are no findings from this inspection that could significantly undermine nuclear safety.