Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Hunterston B Power Station - Organisational Learning Thematic Inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to undertake compliance inspection activities at EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited's (NGL's) Hunterston B power station in line with the ONR's planned inspection programme contained in the Hunterston B Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) for 2017/18.

The intervention was carried out by the ONR site inspector, supported by two ONR LMfS specialist inspectors and an ONR project inspector.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

We performed a themed inspection on the topic of Organisational Learning (OL). This included a licence compliance inspection of NGL's arrangements for Licence Condition (LC) 7 (incidents on the site).

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

No system based inspection was undertaken hence, this is not applicable for this intervention..

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

This inspection was part of a series of themed inspections intended to evaluate the effectiveness of NGL's organisational learning across the operational reactor fleet. This intervention evaluates how well each station learns lessons from internal and external sources in order to continuously improve leadership, organisational capability, safety decision making and safety performance.

During the inspection, the following themes were examined:

We examined the arrangements in place at Hunterston B to investigate incidents and implement the identified improvements. We interviewed a range of staff and observed a number of meetings, including the daily screening meeting and start of shift briefings. We noted good evidence of staff engagement in the various elements of the Organisational Learning process (corrective action programme; operating experience and self-assessment / benchmarking).

We sampled a number of investigations and found them comprehensive, adequately identifying a wide range of issues in each case. We examined whether opportunities had been taken to share learning across the fleet. We examined a sample of evaluations (mandatory and routine) and considered whether the station was learning from events across the fleet.

The station presented evidence to show how it was managing aspects of the organisational learning process including analysing information to identify potentially adverse trends. We examined a number of self-assessment activities and considered actions raised as a result.

Based on our sample of interviews, observations and document reviews we judged that there are effective processes in place to manage and monitor the implementation of actions identified. Some opportunities where the station can improve the effectiveness of its organisational learning process were identified.

Overall, we judge the licensee was meeting relevant good practice when compared to ONR guidance and have therefore assigned a rating of Green (no formal action) for LC7 compliance.

The site inspector attended other meetings that included the Site Stakeholder Group (SSG) meeting. A number of questions were raised at the SSG in regard to ONR's findings from the inspection of the Reactor 4 core during the recent outage and ONR's subsequent granting of the Consent to return to service.

Conclusion of Intervention

There are no findings from this inspection that could significantly undermine nuclear safety and no change is necessary to the planned interventions and inspections at Hunterston B as a result.