The purpose of this planned intervention was to determine the capability and effectiveness of the EDF Nuclear Generation Limited (NGL) Independent Nuclear Assurance (INA) team at Hartlepool, focusing on INA site‑based activities and formed part of ONR’s wider assessment of NGL INA. The intervention was undertaken in line with ONR’s inspection programme contained in the Hartlepool Integrated Intervention Strategy for 2019/20.
In my capacity of nominated site inspector for Hartlepool Power Station (and accompanied by the site inspector for Torness Power Station) I performed an inspection against Licence Condition (LC) 17 – ‘Management Systems’, as the INA function forms a part of the station’s compliance arrangements in this area. The inspection, which comprised review of documents and interviews with a sample of key station staff, 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 Operational Safety Review Committee (OSRC); a meeting with one of the station’s safety representatives; attendance at a leadership team morning meeting and event categorisation session; discussion of the station’s 2020 Medium Term Plan; a walkdown of the recently upgraded Resource Control Centre; and a review of the current Regulatory Issues Database with the Technical & Safety Support Manager.
During the inspection week, reactor two had an unplanned trip as a result of a spurious steam valve closure. All post trip cooling requirements were met. The reason for the spurious closure was identified and corrected; the reactor was restarted during the following weekend, having been approved in a unanimous decision at the OSRC.
Based on the sample reviewed, I am content that the functions of the site-based INA within the station’s (and corporate) management system are delivered to a standard of compliance consistent with relevant good practice. Therefore, I consider it appropriate to give an inspection rating of GREEN – no formal action for compliance against LC17.
We identified a number of opportunities for improvement with the team’s capability and capacity, as well delivery of advice, challenge and influence. These were explained in a presentation to members of the Hartlepool and Corporate INA teams during the feedback section of the inspection. No formal regulatory issues were raised at this time as the findings will inform an overall assessment of the position across the EDF fleet of nuclear power station.
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.