Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Hartlepool - HPBUCS Pump 1 Fire

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to conduct follow-up enquiries into the circumstances of an incident which occurred at EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited's (NGL) Hartlepool Power Station on 7 April 2017. The incident involved a small fire on a diesel engine within the high pressure back-up cooling system (HPBUCS) house during a routine test run.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The follow-up enquiries conducted by the nominated site inspector involved an inspection of the incident site, discussions with NGL staff and examination of relevant documentation.

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

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable - no system based inspections were performed during this intervention.

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

In my opinion, the small fire which occurred in a standalone building which was unmanned at the time of the incident did not pose a threat to nuclear materials located on the site. Although the incident resulted in damage to one of back-up cooling pumps, I judged that the nuclear safety significance of the incident was minor.

The intervention did not identify any significant breach of site licence conditions. Some minor shortcomings were identified regarding the licensee's response to two previous incidents and quality assurance documentation. However I am satisfied that the incident does not meet ONR's formal investigation criteria.

ONR intends to evaluate the quality of the licensee's own internal investigation and proposed corrective action plan as part of routine site inspection activities. An entry on the ONR issues database has been made to track this commitment.

Conclusion of Intervention

The licensee is judged to be dealing with this incident appropriately and is applying its corrective action programme to identify lessons learned and reduce the risk of a reoccurrence. The issue raised during this intervention will be followed up via the normal planned regulatory interactions.

There are no findings from this inspection that could significantly undermine nuclear safety nor require a change to the planned interventions and inspections of Hartlepool power station.