Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Heysham 2 - 32 tonne IFD Plug, lifting event follow-up enquiries

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This intervention was conducted following the receipt of an Incident Notification from Heysham 2 Power Station involving a planned lift of a 32 tonne plug at the Irradiated Fuel Disposal (IFD) facility.

The intervention purpose was to obtain sufficient information to support an informed decision as to whether the matter warranted formal investigation by ONR.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The follow-up enquiries were carried out against the licensee’s own arrangements for conducting nuclear significant lifts, which it uses to comply with its legal and safety case requirements and to meet the nuclear site licence conditions. The nuclear site licence conditions are applicable provisions under the Energy Act 2013.

The follow-up enquiries were also undertaken against legal requirements within:

ONR Mechanical Engineering specialist inspectors, one of which is a specialist in cranes and lifting, undertook the follow-up enquiries.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable to this intervention.

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

32 Tonne Plug Lifting Event – Follow-up enquiries

For the follow-up enquiries undertaken following receipt of an Incident Notification (INF1) on 16 May 2017, ONR identified that:

Licence Condition 7 (Incidents on the Site) – NGL actions following the event were considered to be adequate.

Consequently, we have assigned a rating of Green against LC 7.

Licence Condition 25 (Operational Records) – Records relating to the point of work risk assessment and the lifting equipment log did not exist. The level of record keeping was considered to be below standard.

Consequently, ONR has assigned a rating of Amber against LC 25.

Licence Condition 26 (Control and Supervision of Operations) – The root cause of the lifting event was found to be a lack of adherence to extant NGL procedures specific to the nuclear lift. The level of supervision applied to the lifting operation was considered to be below standard.

Consequently, ONR has assigned a rating of Amber against LC 26.

ONR’s criterion for formal investigation in relation to nuclear events was judged to have been met. However, from the follow-up enquiries that were carried out, we established sufficient assurance to remove the need for further investigation. In reaching this decision, due consideration has been given to the outcome of the Enforcement Management Model (EMM).

Conclusion of Intervention

The follow-up enquiries revealed a breach against Licence Conditions 25 and 26, and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. Consequently, ONR considers that the criterion for formal investigation has been met. However, ONR judges the need for a formal investigation has been removed since:

The root cause of the event was judged to be a failure to follow instructions;