Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Quarterly site report for Hunterston A

1 January 201231 March 2012


This report is issued as part of the Office for Nuclear Regulations (ONR) commitment to make information about inspection and regulatory activities relating to Hunterston A available to the public. Reports are distributed quarterly to members of the Hunterston Site Stakeholder Group and are also available on the ONR website.

Site inspectors from ONR usually attend meetings of the Hunterston Site Stakeholder Group and will respond to any questions raised there by the members of the group. Any other person wishing to inquire about matters covered by this report should contact the ONR.

Post: Office for Nuclear Regulation
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
L20 7HS


ONR made inspections on the following dates during the quarter:

Routine matters

Inspections at Hunterston A

Inspections are undertaken as part of the process for monitoring compliance with:

  1. the conditions attached by HSE/ONR to the nuclear site licence;
  2. the Health and Safety at Work etc Act (HSWA) 1974; and
  3. regulations made under the HSWA (for example the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999).

This entails monitoring licensees actions on the site in relation to incidents, operations, maintenance, projects, modifications, safety case changes and any other matters which may affect safety. The licensee is required to make and implement adequate arrangements under the conditions attached to the licence in order to ensure legal compliance. Inspections seek to judge both the adequacy of these arrangements and their implementation. In this period routine inspections of Hunterston A covered:

In general the arrangements made and implemented by the site in response to safety requirements were deemed to be adequate in the areas inspected. However, where improvements were considered necessary, satisfactory commitments to address the issues were made by the licensee, and the Site Inspector will monitor progress during future visits. Where necessary, formal regulatory enforcement action will be taken to ensure that appropriate remedial measures are implemented to reasonably practicable timescales.

Annual Safety Review Meeting: The meeting for 2012 was held in February, and was preceded by a general inspection of the site. The licensees safety performance and plans were discussed.

Fire Safety: ONR's Fire Safety Inspector visited the site to follow up issues raised at his audit during the last quarter.

Civil Engineering Inspection: An ONR team inspected how well the licensee had implemented its own new corporate standard on the inspection of buildings and structures.

EIADR: An ONR team audited compliance with the Nuclear Reactors (Environmental Impact Assessment) for Decommissioning Regulations 1999.

Site Stakeholder Group: The site inspector attended the quarterly meeting of the SSG, making a short presentation and answering questions.

Non-routine matters

Licensees are required to have arrangements to respond to non-routine matters and events. ONR inspectors judge the adequacy of the licensees response, including actions taken to implement any necessary improvements.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is currently looking at options for managing its Higher Activity Waste (HAW) in line with Scottish Government Policy. As part of that work, the NDA is funding an investigative study to identify and consider storage options that could be used to deal with HAW arising in central and southern Scotland.

A varied group of stakeholders met on 26 January to initiate early discussion on storage options for HAW.  The aim was to gather initial opinion, generate discussion and capture feedback on a number of potential credible options for HAW storage in central and southern Scotland.

Attendees at the facilitated workshop included the Scottish Government, NDA, Site Stakeholder Group Chairs, Scottish Councils Committee on Radioactive Substances (SCCORS) and waste producers. ONR and SEPA attended as observers.

Last year the site published a review of its strategy for dealing with the HAW in its Solid Waste Bunkers. During this quarter ONR has begun a series of meetings with the licensee intended to ensure that it implements the chosen strategy without further delay.

Regulatory activity

Under health and safety legislation, ONR site inspectors, and other HSE inspectors, may issue formal documents to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Under nuclear site licence conditions, ONR issues regulatory documents, which either permit an activity or require some form of action to be taken; these are usually collectively termed licence instruments (LIs). In addition, inspectors may issue enforcement notices to secure improvements to safety.

In this quarter ONR has issued LI No 514, approving changes to the part of the plant maintenance schedule that sets out how maintenance is to be managed. ONR also agreed, in LI No 515, to the licensee extending maintenance intervals in the plant maintenance schedule, provided it does so in accordance with the procedure set out in the newly approved part.

News from ONR

Insight into more of ONR's work as an independent regulator of the nuclear industry can be found in ONR's Quarterly News, which is produced every three months. The online publication reports on the key themes and developments in each of ONR's regulatory programmes and provides an update about the ongoing changes at ONR, as it progresses toward becoming an independent statutory corporation.