Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Level 4 Meeting with EdF Nuclear Generation Ltd (NGL) on a range of Sizewell B (SZB) fuel topics

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This intervention was a routine Level 4 meeting with key licensee (i.e. EdF Nuclear Generation Ltd - NGL) staff from both Barnwood and Sizewell B (SZB) to discuss safety case matters relating to a number of SZB fuel topics and to provide for an information flow between the licensee and Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) inspectors. Specifically, this intervention was intended to discuss the licensee's forthcoming safety cases for:

Interventions carried out by ONR

The intervention was conducted via face-to-face meetings with key licensee technical personnel, over a period of circa 1.5 days, at the Holiday Inn close to NGL's Barnwood headquarters. The licensee provided a series of detailed presentations, which were then the subject of more detailed discussion with the licensee.

Explanation of judgement if safety system not judged to be adequate

N/A.

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

Cycle 14 Core Re-Load Safety Case

The re-load safety case for SZB's Cycle 14 is still in production (due to be issued to ONR circa July 2014). Whilst this is not a Category 1 safety case, nonetheless ONR normally assesses re-load safety cases for SZB with the resulting ONR Assessment Report (AR) informing the Project Assessment Report (PAR) for the ONR Consent for reactor re-start at the end of the refuelling outage.

The presentations made around the re-load safety case were of a good quality and were helpful in providing an early indication of some of the key features of this safety case in comparison to previous re-load safety cases for SZB e.g.

The presentations provided good information which will be valuable in allowing me to target my assessment effort to the important technical arguments when the case arrives for assessment.

Increased Fuel Irradiation Case

This Category 1 safety case has been in development by the licensee for some 10 years and formal permissioning by ONR is required circa December 2014. The licensee gave a set of very detailed presentations on the key features of this safety case encompassing:

Again I found the licensee's presentations delivered significant value in enabling me to get an early appreciation of the key facets of this safety case and hence to assist me in avoiding future nugatory work during my assessment of the case.

Sizewell B Dry Fuel Store (DFS) Update on Fuel and Criticality Aspects of the Safety Case

This part of the intervention was intended to provide an update on progress, with the licensee's safety case to underpin its future operations of the DFS to be constructed at SZB, in the technical areas of fuel and criticality. The presentations provided by the licensee reinforced my views that the licensee's safety analysis work, in these two key technical areas, is of a high quality, is well underpinned by global operational experience (OpEx) and is nearing completion.

Conclusion of intervention

From the summation of all the information, presented over the 1.5 days of the intervention, which in my opinion was of a high quality, it is my judgment that the licensee is making good progress with three important safety cases for SZB. The information exchange, facilitated by the intervention, will allow me to provide much more focussed assessments of the safety cases when presented and will hence avoid nugatory regulatory effort.