Office for Nuclear Regulation

This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience. You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information.

Torness - SBI 11 - Fire Protection Systems

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to carry out a system based inspection of compliance with Licence Conditions (LC) in line with the ONR planned inspection programme contained in the Torness Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) for 2016/17.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

This intervention: consisted of a System Based Inspection, SBI-11 - Fire Detection, Suppression, Barriers, Doors and Dampers, which included compliance inspections against the following Licence Conditions (LCs):

The intervention included:

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

From the areas sampled during this inspection, I judged that overall the fire protection systems met the requirements of the safety case and are adequate.

At the close-out meeting from the inspection, ONR identified some learning or points of challenge for the station to consider. These covered some minor concerns over the clarity of some of the maintenance records, and also some reflections over whether the company could gain more useful insights from data gathered in work carried out by contract partners. The most important challenge was related to a safety case modification which had the effect of increasing the safety categorisation of a fire suppression system in the gas circulator houses. Despite this change, the plant condition which we saw in our plant inspection suggested that this change did not lead to improved maintenance of the system or to improved control of the plant configuration. The system engineer agreed to look further at this.

My final point of challenge was the importance to guard against complacency in fire safety – there has been a long period without a fire, and a risk that standards may slowly drop. Fire avoidance and the effectiveness of fire protection depends upon shared commitment from all staff, with high levels of hazard awareness and a willingness to report degraded conditions. There were some areas of good behaviours, including awareness campaigns and a fire awareness newsletter. Nevertheless there were some small indications of the need for continuing pressure from all levels of station staff and management to further improvement.

With respect to the SBI against ONR’s approach I was able to make the following judgements;

Conclusion of Intervention

As a result of the system based inspection of fire detection, suppression, barriers, doors, I judged that compliance with LC10, 23, 24, 27 and LC28 met the expected standards in the area covered by the inspection, and were rated as green. Overall I concluded that the systems met the requirements of the safety case.

There are no findings from this inspection that could significantly undermine nuclear safety.  At present, no additional regulatory action is needed over and above the planned interventions of Torness nuclear power station as set out in the Integrated Intervention Strategy, which will continue as planned.