Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Heysham 1 - LC 36 compliance inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of this planned intervention was to undertake a compliance inspection at EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited’s (NGL) Heysham 1 power station.  The intervention was undertaken in line with ONR’s inspection programme contained in the Heysham 1 Integrated Intervention Strategy for 2019/20.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

The inspection, against Licence Condition 36, ‘Organisational Capability’, was led by a Leadership & Management for Safety specialist and ONR’s Nominated Site Inspector for Heysham 1. Licence Condition (LC) 36(1) requires the licensee to ‘provide and maintain adequate financial and human resources to ensure safe operation of the licensed site’.

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

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable; no system based inspections were undertaken during this intervention.

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

LC 36 – GREEN – no formal action

The licensee’s arrangements for compliance with LC36 meet relevant good practice when compared to ONR’s guidance.  The Human Resources Team at Heysham 1 is experienced and has a good understanding of what is required under the company’s arrangements. There have been a significant number of management changes at the station and we found that some identified improvement actions have not been fully embedded.

We judged the Operations Department has a good understanding of its capability which is reviewed regularly which informs decisions on crew management. We noted that there had been an overall drop in experience levels within the Operations Department but we found evidence of proactive management of this challenging situation.

We found organisational changes to be appropriately categorised, but scope for some further improvements was identified with regard to senior management standards and expectations; scope and timeliness of risk assessments; ensuring enabling activities have been delivered prior to the proposed change; and timeliness of post-implementation reviews. 

Therefore we propose to raise a level 4 regulatory issue requiring the station to reset standards and expectations with regard to its LC36 arrangements and to improve accountability and oversight with respect to timeliness of organisational change proposals. This issue will be monitored by ONR.

Conclusion of Intervention

There are no findings from this intervention that could undermine nuclear safety at this time. Some good practices were identified together with some shortfalls. A Level 4 Regulatory Issue has been raised to enable ONR to monitor timeliness of activities specified within the licensee’s arrangements.   Our judgement is that no additional regulatory action is needed over and above planned interventions at Heysham 1 Power Station.