Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Exercise at Hinkley Point B

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This was a planned inspection at EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd's (NGL's) Hinkley Point B power station, undertaken as part of the planned intervention strategy for the Civil Nuclear Reactor Programme (CNRP) of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

The work was carried out in line with the planned inspection programme contained in the Hinkley Point B Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS).

Interventions carried out by ONR

I witnessed an emergency shift exercise as part of a planned LC11 inspection (emergency arrangements), participated in a Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) intervention and held a number of information exchange meetings with site personnel.

Explanation of judgement if safety system not judged to be adequate.

Not applicable - no safety system inspections were carried out on this visit.

Key findings, Inspector's opinions and reasons for judgements made

I judged the scenario for the shift emergency exercise to be a challenging one that incorporated elements of nuclear safety, chemical spillage, seismic events and security matters. It was a useful learning opportunity for the site ahead of the level 1 demonstration exercise scheduled for later this year. Overall I judged the exercise to be a satisfactory demonstration of the site emergency arrangements and allocated an IIS rating of 3 (adequate) against LC11.

The COMAH Regulations are enforced by the Competent Authority which on this occasion comprised two HSE inspectors from the HSE Hazardous Installations Directorate and the Environment Agency nominated inspector. COMAH applies mainly to the chemical industry, but the Hinkley Point B site qualifies due to its stocks of Hydrazine, Ammonia and fuel oil (kerosene and diesel). No significant concerns were raised as part of the inspection and a number of actions and recommendations were made to further enhance compliance with the COMAH Regulations.

Finally I held a number of information exchange meetings with station staff on a range of topics including preparations for the next interim outage, followed up on a recent on site event with the reactor cooling water system, reviewed recent events associated with control rods and discussed station response to adverse weather events.

The licence conditions were inspected against ONR's published guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides).

Conclusion of intervention

There are no findings from this inspection that could significantly undermine nuclear safety. I did not place any actions on this visit, but several were made during the COMAH inspection and these will be progressed separately by the Competent Authority.

Recommendations

The planned interventions set out in the Integrated Intervention Strategy for Hinkley Point B remain valid and will be followed for future inspections.