Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Oldbury nuclear licensed site fire safety inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

An audit of fire safety was conducted at Oldbury Power Station (Decommissioning) that focused on the themes of fire safety management and practical fire safety provision. Discussions were held with the site management and a tour of the Turbine Hall building took place before concluding with a final meeting with principal site management. A number of areas for improvement were identified; these are reported in items 2.1 - 2.14 below.

Generally the fire safety arrangements for this facility were adequate.

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of the planned inspection was to ensure that the Licensee was showing compliance with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The inspection focused on both the management of fire safety and the practical fire safety provision at Oldbury Power Station. The legislation focuses on life fire safety not nuclear fire safety issues. The Fire Safety Coordinator (FSC) was notified of the themes and areas to be inspected and was requested to provide pre-audit material to assist in the process; the material was provided in a timely fashion.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The site gave access throughout the day to senior managers and subject area experts. Accompanying me throughout the inspection was the Fire Safety Coordinator (FSC) and members of the engineering team. These individuals were able to provide answers to questions and provide evidence of the sites' fire safety arrangements.

During my inspection, I challenged those accompanying me and others about procedures and approaches to the practical application of maintaining adequate fire safety provision. I questioned personnel to test the effectiveness and knowledge of arrangements. I examined several documents prior to my arrival on site. A considerable part of the day included discussions centred around the management of fire safety for the future care, maintenance and decommissioning work at the site. Particular conversation focused on the approach to be taken to ensure all fire safety systems are afforded suitable testing and maintenance regimes.

I took the opportunity throughout the walk down phase of my inspection to point out examples of obstacles and fire safety issues that are likely to compromise the application of the fire safety strategy that is in place.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not Applicable

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

Key Findings

My overall impression was one of a management team which demonstrated a desire to ensure that fire safety is taken seriously and is given the due consideration it deserves. I have reiterated the advantages of producing a decommissioning phase fire safety strategy. This has been encouraged on previous inspections. I have reiterated my view that I feel the development of a Fire Safety Strategy will greatly assist in the management of fire safety during the considerable project work planned for the future and the dynamic environment that will exist. The Fire Safety Coordinator shows a very good attitude and a very high level of commitment to the role. I was pleased to note that the site management have identified the application of fire safety as a key element of the overall safety regime for those persons that work at Oldbury.

I did identify a number of shortfalls with the application of the expected fire safety standards described in more detail in the main body of the report which will be followed up to satisfactory closure as part of the post inspection procedure.

Inspectors Opinions

I am of the opinion that the Oldbury Management Team displayed an appreciation of the importance of effective fire safety measures and that overall they show a desire to ensure that compliance with the relevant legislation is achieved.

Reasons for judgements made

The inspection involved a combination of looking into the management of fire safety and physically walking through the Turbine Hall building. I questioned and challenged observations with the FSC and others who I met during the course of the day.

Conclusion of Intervention

I concluded with an assessment of compliance with the legislation, and presented deficiencies and recognised areas of good practice at a wash-up meeting with the site management.

There are no major issues that require formal regulatory action to be taken, however there are a number of minor issues that when addressed will improve the current site arrangements; an action plan was requested by the 8/9/16 to confirm how site propose to progress each point detailed. I will continue to liaise with the FSC to confirm that they are resolved in a timely fashion.

A number of the issues identified during the course of the inspection are considered to be Magnox Fleet wide issues and will be discussed and progressed with the Head of Profession separately.