Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Reactor 7 Mechanical Engineering Shutdown Inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

Site licence condition 30 requires EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd to periodically shutdown each reactor at its nuclear power stations.  This is to undertake the examination, inspection, maintenance and testing of systems, structures and components important to safety in accordance with the requirements of Site License Condition 28 (SL28).

This inspection is undertaken to provide regulatory confidence in the mechanical engineering aspects of the licensee’s arrangements during the planned safety related activities through this shutdown.  The activities being undertaken are in accordance with the requirements of the maintenance schedule, statutory inspections, modifications and important other work.  The purpose was also to inform the ONR decision relating to the issuing of a Licence Instrument for Consent for return to service, post shutdown activities at Heysham 2.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The inspection covered by this intervention record was undertaken in support of ONR’s 2018/19 statutory shutdown inspection programme.  My inspection sampled and examined three planned shutdown activities:

The inspection covered EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd’s arrangements for compliance with LC28 (Examination, inspection, maintenance and testing - EIMT).  The findings of this inspection will contribute to ONR’s regulatory decision to grant consent to the return of Heysham 2s reactor 7 to normal operating service in accordance with Licence Condition 30 (LC30) (Periodic shutdown).

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

The sampled and examined written instructions used by operators to undertake examination, inspection, maintenance and testing confirmed that activities are carried out in accordance with written instructions with a specified periodicity and that this interval is specified as appropriately in the plant maintenance schedule.  A clear auditable trail exists from the specified EIMT through to completion of the activities.

Quality plans for EIMT work were examined and found to be comprehensive, containing suitable hold point, ensuring work did not progress unchecked.

Through utilisation of the quality plans the licensee demonstrated that systems are in place ensuring that clear auditable trail exists from the specified EIMT requirements through to the working instructions.

Training record sampling and examination confirmed that suitably qualified and experienced people were used for EIMT activities.

One minor shortfall was noted regarding the licensee’s process for ensuring that suitably qualified and trained individuals were undertaking EIMT tasks.  This was an isolated event on a system of low safety significance.  The licensee has committed to investigate this issue and an entry will be made on the ONR issues database to monitor its resolution. 

Conclusion of Intervention

From the sample inspected, it is judged that for the mechanical engineering work activities undertaken at Heysham 2 during the reactor 7 2018 periodic shutdown, compliance against LC28 met the required standard.  I have therefore given this inspection an Integrated Intervention Strategy rating of Green.

From a mechanical engineering standpoint, I was content with the way in which the licensee was conducting its statutory shutdown work programme and accordingly I am of the opinion there is no actual or emerging evidence that should prevent the licensee bringing reactor 7 back to power in due course.

At the time of writing this record, there are no significant recommendations that I consider would prevent ONR granting consent, under licence condition 30 of the licensee’s nuclear site license allowing the licensee to return Reactor 7 to power following its 2018 statutory shutdown.