Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Operating Reactors Programme Engineering Governance Themed Inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

To evaluate EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited (NGL) Hartlepool's Engineering Department and Central Technical Organisation governance arrangements. This forms one of a series of interventions to be carried out at all NGL's nuclear sites and corporate centre at Barnwood.

This intervention was supported by the Environment Agency and NGL's Independent Nuclear Assurance Group.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

This intervention was carried out in line with ONR technical inspection guides, www.onr.org.uk/operational/tech_insp_guides, with compliance ratings given against Licence Condition (LC) 12: Duly authorised and other suitably qualified and experienced persons, and LC 17: Management systems.

The intervention used NGL's Fleet Engineering Equipment Reliability process as a platform to evaluate engineering governance. It used structured discussions with System Engineers, Engineering Department Group Heads and Senior Managers as well as observations in plant walk-downs. Key focus areas were:

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

As this was not a Safety System Intervention, no judgement was given.

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

Based on evidence gathered during this intervention it was considered that compliance against LC 12 and LC 17 was met. This view was based on evidence that Hartlepool's Engineering Department were following required arrangements in ensuring that only suitably qualified and experienced persons carried out duties that may affect safety and these arrangements gave due priority to safety.

In the case of engineering governance, it was considered adequate resources were in place to deliver Hartlepool's Engineering Department mission to manage equipment assets and prevent system failures impacting on safety and performance. In the case of training, it was considered knowledge management for system handovers needed to be considered. Station stated that this issue was managed through their approach to succession planning.

It was considered compliance with Equipment Reliability (ER) process was at a reasonable standard, although plant walkdowns process and visibility of compliance with NGL codes and standards identified opportunities to strengthened the current approach.

Compliance with ER process in the management of risk to systems together with mitigation and resolution of concerns was considered to be at a good standard and supported by other Station processes such as Station Risk and Investment Committee and Project Assessment Meeting.

The visibility of Centre Technical Organisation involvement in maintaining and influencing Hartlepool's Engineering Department governance was considered limited with only the Fleet Engineering Audit process providing any rigor to Stations approach in the implementation and delivery of Equipment Reliability. It was considered their presence could be increased to allow a better corporate view of Station's performance to be formed.

Conclusion of Intervention

We considered that Hartlepool Power Station's Engineering governance processes are adequate. We advised NGL of some opportunities to enhance process adherence and governance. NGL agreed to consider this advice and implement appropriate improvements.