Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Hartlepool - LC 4 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 2019/20.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

In my capacity of nominated site inspector for Hartlepool Power Station, I performed an inspection to examine the licensee’s implementation of its compliance arrangements with regard to Licence Condition (LC) 4 – Restriction on Nuclear Matter 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.

In addition to the compliance inspection, I also undertook several other activities; observation of an Operation Decision Making meeting; a ‘keep in touch’ meeting with the station-based Independent Nuclear Assurance team; a plant walkdown with a senior manager; a discussion on station resource with the Station Director; attendance at a leadership team morning meeting and event categorisation session; and a review of the current Regulatory Issues Database with the Technical & Safety Support Manager.

During the inspection week, an individual was injured by a scaffold pole falling as it was being lowered to the working area.  I undertook some early preliminary follow up enquires to establish a true picture of the event; I will make further enquiries following the completion of the NGL investigation.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable.

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

The understanding of the key corporate and local arrangements was appropriate.  Using the tools and systems at their disposal, NGL staff were able to demonstrate how nuclear matter is ordered, received, confirmed as acceptable and stored on the licensed site.

Relating to new nuclear fuel, two minor items were noted: a minor disjoint between the instructions used in two departments, and the need to retain an empty fuel box on the site at all times in order to cater for damaged fuel.  Both of these items are to be addressed through minor modifications to departmental instructions.

For other nuclear matter, a minor item was raised for routine audits to include an assessment of the condition and appropriate use of the contractors equipment used in radiography activities (the source and the container are already subject to auditing) in order to ensure the safety of personnel.

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.  The minor items for potential improvement were fed back to the station management; 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 against LC 4.

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.