Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Level 1 Demonstration Exercise "CURRIE"

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to undertake a Licence Condition (LC) compliance inspection at EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited (NGL) Heysham 1 power station in line with the planned inspection programme contained in the Heysham 1 Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS).

The intervention was undertaken by three ONR inspectors and involved the observation of the annual Level 1 Demonstration of the on-site emergency response arrangements at the Heysham 1 nuclear licensed site.  The purpose was to seek assurance that the licensee’s emergency arrangements and its emergency response personnel have the capability to deal effectively with emergencies with on-site or off-site consequences.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

This intervention included a compliance inspection against the following Licence Condition (LC):

This inspection utilised ONR guidance document, NS-INSP-GD-011 which requires inspectors undertaking compliance inspections against LC11 to consider both the arrangements that are in place together with their associated implementation.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

No safety system inspection was undertaken, hence this is not applicable.

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

During the course of the exercise a number of opportunities for improvement were identified.  ONR has written to NGL requesting confirmation of the action proposed, or already taken, to address the points raised by ONR, together with those of their own staff and independent assessment team.  The Heysham 1 Nominated Site Inspector is to be advised of future shift exercises intended to test the implementation of the opportunities for improvement identified by those involved in the exercise.

ONR welcomed the fact that the joint debrief meeting provided a comprehensive exchange of information on the outcome from the exercise, which made a valuable contribution to the identification of potential improvement opportunities in respect of the emergency arrangements at Heysham 1 Power Station.     

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

Conclusion of intervention

We considered that exercise “Currie” provided a robust challenge to the implementation of the emergency arrangements at Heysham 1 with a number of learning opportunities identified.  It was positive to note the approach in relation to introducing greater challenge for the emergency response organisation, which highlighted a number of insights.  We considered that such challenging scenarios be introduced across the wider NGL fleet to enable further improvement in the implementation of the arrangements for LC11.  This was communicated to the Head of Emergency Planning during the feedback session.

The ONR team deemed that exercise “Currie” provided an adequate demonstration of the station emergency arrangements for the current year and the staff responded well to a challenging scenario.   This inspection has been rated as 3 (adequate) through the Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS).