Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Hinkley Point B planned intervention

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This was a planned inspection of 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

An ONR mechanical engineering inspector and I (the nominated site inspector for Hinkley Point B) carried out a compliance inspection on LC28 (examination, inspection, maintenance and testing).  I carried out a compliance inspection on LC22 (modification or experiment on existing plant), witnessed a Corrective Action Review Board meeting and held a number of information exchange meetings with station staff.

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

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable - no system based inspections were carried out during this visit.

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

We carried out a compliance inspection of LC28 (examination, inspection, maintenance and testing) arrangements which was focussed on the mechanical engineering aspects of the Reactor 4 2015 statutory outage.  We inspected processes and facilities associated with Gas Circulators, Control Rod Assemblies (including the Super Articulated Control Rods) and valves scheduled for replacement during the outage.  Overall, we judged that the LC28 arrangements to be of an adequate standard and we therefore assigned an IIS rating of – 3 (adequate) to this inspection.

I carried out a compliance inspection of LC22 (modification or experiment on existing plant) arrangements which was focussed on the Vessel Overpressure Protection Equipment.  I reviewed the compliance processes that were in place, the remaining work scope on the project and arrangements that were being followed to control future proposed modifications to both the plant and the associated safety case. Overall, I was satisfied that suitable processes were in place to provide assurance that the modifications to plant and safety case were being adequately managed.  I therefore assigned an IIS rating of - 3, (adequate) to this inspection.

I witnessed a Corrective Action Review Board meeting on the site, which was held to review events on the site and enhance safety standards by reviewing and learning from incidents. I considered the CARB to be well organised and documented and the reports to be of an adequate standard.

I met with the site internal regulator to discuss recent incidents, on-going inspections and future intervention topics.  I held information exchange meetings with station staff on a range of topics including recent plant performance, two recent incidents on the site (removal of the interim package boilers and radiography), preparations for the WANO (World Association of Nuclear Operators) inspection of site, preparations for the Reactor 4 statutory outage and progress with modifications to the gas turbine fuel oil storage tanks.

Conclusion of Intervention

For LC28 (examination, inspection, maintenance and testing) and for LC22 (modification or experiment on existing plant) we were satisfied that processes were in place to demonstrate adequate compliance with the licence conditions.  I was satisfied with the performance of the on-site Corrective Action Review Board, the technical information exchange meetings and with the progress being made on a number of projects on the site.

There are no findings from this inspection that could significantly undermine nuclear safety.