Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planned inspection of 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

The ONR Superintending Inspector, the nominated ONR Hunterston B site inspector and I (the nominated site inspector) attended the annual review of safety meeting on site.

I carried out compliance inspections against licence condition (LC) 7 (incidents on the site) and 8 (warning notices). My report contains information from the recent Emergency Planning Consultative Committee and a meeting with the NGL internal regulator. I also 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

The annual review of safety highlighted that site had performed well in the past year with no top tier safety events and positive feedback from the World Association of Nuclear Operators. The station has completed two interim outages to plan and progressed key improvements on site such as the new Nitrogen plant, the auxiliary vaporiser boilers, the radioactive waste inventories and disposal facility, the turbine hall and circulator hall (fire suppression systems).

For LC7 (incidents on the site) I was satisfied that site was following its procedures for identifying, raising, screening and processing Condition Reports. I was also satisfied that investigation of the events and corrective action was being taken in a timely and professional manner. Events were reported to ONR in line with the agreed criteria and good quality follow up reports were provided within the agreed timescale. I therefore assigned an IIS rating of 2, (Good) to this inspection.

For LC8 (warning notices) I concluded that that warning notices were correctly deployed on site and that information was presented in a clear, consistent and appropriate manner. I found evidence that the warning notices were being maintained and reviewed, and some ongoing improvements were noted, particularly regarding the control of safety signs. I therefore assigned an IIS rating of - 3 (adequate) to this inspection.

The Emergency Planning Consultative Committee discussed a number of important topics concerning emergency preparedness. The response to ONR reassessment of the emergency planning zone at Sizewell B and preparations for the level 2 exercise at Hinkley Point B later in the year were noted.

I met with the site internal regulator to discuss recent events on the site, staffing levels and future intervention topics.

Finally I held information exchange meetings with station staff on a range of topics including boiler modelling and inspection, reactor cooling water event, new Nitrogen plant, site emergency exercise Bronze, control rods and the gas circulator oil fire suppression system.

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. No actions were raised during this inspection.