Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Hartlepool Power Station - Meeting to Discuss APEX work on Reactor 1 Outage 2014

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The purpose of the site visit was to discuss and review a sample of the statutory surveillances, inspections and tests to be undertaken by EDF-NGL to support their anticipated request for consent for the return to service of Reactor 1 pre-stressed concrete pressure vessel at Hartlepool Power Station following the 2014 Statutory Outage

Interventions carried out by ONR

This was a technical discussion regarding the LC28 and LC30 work scope for the pre-stressed concrete pressure vessel.

Explanation of judgement if safety system not judged to be adequate

N/A.

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

I noted that the Licensee's (EDF-NGL) Appointed Examiner has planned the statutory surveillances, inspections and tests in accordance with Branch Instructions and with additional tendon strand and anchor samples planned to account for known tendon "wetting" in accordance with NP/SC 7676.

A Tendon Inspection Panel process has been instituted to review the selection of tendon withdrawal. The Panel promotes the sharing of technical information as well as informing the Site of the proposed tendon withdrawal. However, the APEX judgements should be kept independent; hence, the ONR role as an observer is vital to ensure that. Nine tendons have been selected for withdrawal. However this is only an initial selection that can change depending on the results from the probe inspections.

A Start-Up Statement, that summarises the work, will be submitted in support of the request for consent to return the reactor to service. This follows the expected process. No judgements were made.

Conclusion of intervention

I conclude from the information presented at the discussion that these statutory surveillances, inspections and tests, along with the additional tendon samples will proceed as normal, but with additional tendon strand and anchor inspections to meet NP/SC 7676 requirements.

I accept the initial selection of tendons, on the grounds of proportional response to the threat of wetted tendons versus extending the outage. However, if the withdrawal of the selected tendons shows that the strands are in poor condition, the number of withdrawals may need to be revised.

Recommendation

I recommend that after inspecting the inner bearings as Heysham, the bearings at Hartlepool are also inspected as claimed in the in the revised safety case, NP/SC/7676.