Office for Nuclear Regulation

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LC 32 Planned compliance inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to undertake a compliance inspection at EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited’s (NGL) Hartlepool power station, in line with the ONR’s inspection programme contained in the Hartlepool Integrated Intervention Strategy for 2018/19.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

In my capacity of nominated site inspector for Hartlepool Power Station, I performed a joint inspection (with the Environment Agency) to examine the licensee’s implementation of its compliance arrangements with regard to Licence Condition (LC) 32 – Accumulation of Radioactive Waste. 

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

In addition to the compliance inspection, I also undertook a System Based Inspection on the Main Electrical system, but this is reported elsewhere (2018/320759).

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable – although a system based inspection was completed during this intervention; it has been reported separately; see 2018/320759

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

EDF NGL was able to demonstrate understanding of, and compliance with, the key corporate arrangements for LC32.  The corporate arrangements sampled align with the ONR guidance to inspectors on LC32.  Electronic inventory records sampled were complete and correct and were supported by hardcopy records.

The Fleet Technical Baseline Underpinning Research Document provides clarity to the radioactive wastes that the reactor fleet produces; the handling and treatment of these wastes and the technology readiness of each stage.  I noted that the scoring is potentially optimistic in some areas, but this will not have an impact on nuclear safety during operations.

The Radioactive Waste Focus Index does not consider Higher Activity Wastes (HAW) at this time, which has meant that the success in consignment of some HAW from Hartlepool is not reflected.  However, the focus it does provide on the ‘day-to-day’ wastes produced is helpful in managing waste inventories, and the EA inspector noted improvements in the operational waste inventories.  ONR and EA advised that funding for consignment of operational wastes should not be constrained; radioactive waste inventories are required to be kept as low as reasonably practicable under LC32(1).

Based on the evidence I sampled and my interactions with NGL staff, I judge that the standard of compliance was consistent with relevant good practice and I am satisfied that the licensee is complying with its legal duties.  Minor items for potential improvement were fed back to the station; though these were not sufficient to warrant formal regulatory action.  Overall, I consider the standard of compliance to be sufficient to award an inspection rating of GREEN.

Conclusion of Intervention

There are no findings from this intervention that could undermine nuclear safety at this time.  Therefore, no additional regulatory action is needed over and above the planned interventions at Hartlepool Power Station.