This intervention evaluated aspects of engineering governance by EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited (NGL) at Torness power station. This was in support of an Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) Engineering Governance surveillance that will cover all NGL's nuclear sites together with Barnwood corporate centre.
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 was carried out by an ONR team comprising the Project Inspector responsible for the fleet-wide intervention, the Torness Site Inspector and an Organisational Capability Specialist Inspector. The intervention evaluated engineering governance with particular focus on NGL's Fleet Engineering Equipment Reliability (ER) process. It used structured discussions with Torness Engineering Department System Engineers, Group Heads and Senior Manager together with observations from plant walk-downs and System Review Boards. Key focus areas were:
As this was not a Safety System Intervention, no judgement was given.
Based on evidence gathered during this intervention we considered that compliance against both LC 12 and LC 17 should be rated ‘Green', meaning no formal action is required by ONR.
It was the opinion of the Inspectors that the evidence available suggested that adequate arrangements were in place to ensure that suitable human resource levels, resilience and capability within the Torness Engineering Department. The demographics of the Department appeared well managed with a balanced age profile of System Engineers and Group Heads who appeared enthusiastic and committed. Arrangements to manage competence of system engineers appeared well developed within the department.
An adequate level of compliance with NGL's engineering processes exists based on observations of meetings and structured discussions with System Engineers and Group Heads. Areas of weakness exist, particularly around system walk-downs and within Fuel Route Engineering. The Torness Engineering Department was aware of these issues and actively addressing them.
System risk management was considered to be mature, although possibly over complex in its current presentation, and consideration should be given to enabling clearer and more complete oversight.
We considered that Torness Engineering Department coordinates well with NGL's corporate ER processes, however the effectiveness of corporate Peer and User Groups was considered variable. Compliance with Corporate Technical Standards (CTS) was demonstrated but this rigor was not reflected in TGN compliance.
The ONR Inspector leading this intervention concluded that Torness Engineering Department had adequate governance processes in place in the management of resource levels, resilience, capability and ER processes. The Inspector advised NGL of opportunities to enhance process adherence and governance in system reviews and plant walk-downs. NGL agreed to consider these options and implement appropriate improvements.