Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Inspection of fire safety at Sizewell A

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

I conducted an inspection of fire safety at Sizewell A, the inspection focused on the themes of fire safety management and practical fire safety provision. A number of issues from previous fire safety inspections were reviewed to confirm that adequate consideration had been given to them by the Licensee. I completed a tour of the selected facilities including the Workshop/Welfare/LLW building and the Pond/AETP project area, which represented a range of differing risk profiles and uses, before concluding with a final meeting with the Site Management team. The inspection identified a number of areas of industry good practice along with a number of areas for the Licensee to address and consider, prior to the next fire safety inspection.

Generally the fire safety arrangements were Good

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The site gave access throughout the day to senior managers and subject area experts the facilities personnel I engaged with were both enthusiastic and focused in providing a good level of fire safety within their areas of control. Accompanying me throughout the inspection was the FSC and other subject matter experts. All were able to provide answers to questions and provide evidence of the fire safety arrangements throughout the site.

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 effectiveness and knowledge of arrangements. I examined a series of documents prior to my arrival on site.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


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

Key to risk reduction on site are a number of projects including development of the site’s LLW facility and preparation for the Ponds/AETP project. I took the opportunity to discuss the process adopted for reviewing and improving the existing Fire safety measures for these areas. The projects appear to be well resourced and are managed by competent and experienced people.

Legacy and obsolescence are a constant issue that arise on decommissioning sites, this area was discussed and explored to ensure that site have a good understanding for what will be required for the future. Some additional research and resourcing in identifying and procuring temporary fire alarm systems would be useful, to ensure that when required, that Site are able to safely resource them in a controlled fashion.

Condition of the sites Fire Hydrant water main and associated equipment and the importance of having a good picture of its overall condition and ways to achieve that were discussed, I felt that the importance of the system was well understood and that with a little bit of extra surveillance and measuring a good understanding of future requirements for the equipment could be achieved with little extra work being required.

Site have always had a good understanding of the importance of having a structured and controlled approach to Fire Safety and I was content that that approach is still being adopted.  

Conclusion of Intervention

I concluded with an assessment of compliance with the legislation, and presented some minor deficiencies and recognised areas of good practice at a wash-up meeting with the Site Management team.

The issues identified will be responded to with site providing an action plan by the 29April 2017