The purpose of this intervention was to undertake inspections and information exchange meetings at Hunterston B [HNB] power station in line with the planned inspection programme contained in the HNB Integrated Intervention Strategy [IIS].
As part of this intervention, I held a mid-outage review meeting with Hunterston B outage team, undertaken at the half-way stage of a nominally 58 day outage of Reactor 4. This review sought assurance as to progress against the Outage Intentions Document, results of ONR inspections and status of regulatory actions upon which restart would be contingent. I also attended the 37th Hunterston B Site Stakeholder Group [SSG]. This was a reactive intervention in light of heightened stakeholder interest in an application from EDF to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to revise its authorisation under the Radioactive Substances Act for Low Level Waste (LLW) and Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) disposal.
No safety case informed system based inspection was undertaken during this intervention.
During the mid-outage review I made the following observations and judgements:
At the time of the meeting we agreed a schedule for Consent to Restart on or soon after 22nd April [based on the information at the time of the mid outage review]. This would be contingent upon emergent inspection findings, challenges to the critical path and adequacy of the return to service Engineering Change documents to be issued under EDF's LC22 arrangements.
I reported ONR's quarterly report to the Hunterston SSG for regulatory activities at Hunterston B. This was a reactive attendance in view of heightened SSG, NGO and media interest and concerns raised over an application from EDF to SEPA to revise its authorisation under the Radioactive Substances Act for LLW and ILW disposal. There continues to be areas for which ONR, SEPA and EDF need to ensure the details of the variation and position of the competent regulatory authorities is made as transparent as possible. SEPA will respond to the statutory consultation period after October during which it will address specific concerns raised by the SSG. ONR will provide further information upon request. At present there is no formal application to ONR for increases to or changes to waste movements that may arise in future.
The licence conditions were inspected against ONR's published guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides).
I judged that Hunterston B has managed its outage thus far to a high-standard in relation to control of work; supervision and with rigorous Quality Assurance/Control and surveillance from Independent Nuclear Assurance. Regulatory communications on graphite-related restart actions are effective and timely.