This was a planned compliance inspection of licence condition (LC) 11 (emergency arrangements) at EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited’s (NGL’s) Sizewell B power station. It was undertaken as part of the planned intervention strategy for the Operating Facilities Division (OFD) of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), in accordance with planned inspection programme contained in the Sizewell B Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS).
Exercise Fermi was the licensee’s annual demonstration of its arrangements made under LC 11 for dealing with accidents or emergencies arising on the site. I assessed the exercise with four other ONR inspectors.
The scenario required the licensee to respond to three independent incidents:
The scenario was designed to challenge the site’s response to a conventional, or non-reactor, incident. As there were three separate incidents, we also expected that the licensee would consider the potential for malicious activity.
The majority of the control centres exercised worked well, and it was our view that the incidents themselves were controlled in a way that would have ensured the safety of the public. Malicious activity was considered in a robust and systematic manner.
However, we observed shortfalls in the accountancy of personnel deployed from the access control point, such that the licensee was not able to demonstrate to our satisfaction that it could account for the location of all personnel in the field. Further, delays in despatching people from the access control point resulted in the delays to the rescue of casualties at one of the incident locations.
Overall we considered that, although the licensee was able to adequately demonstrate its ability to protect the public in the event of an accident, it was not able to adequately demonstrate its ability to protect its own workers in all cases. I have raised a level 3 issue requiring the licensee to address the shortfalls.