Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Approval of the maintenance schedule preface and agreement to extension of any specified interval

License Instrument no 527 & 526

Permission requested

The Sizewell B document titled Licence Condition 28 Preface Examination, Inspection, Maintenance and Testing was submitted for approval. This submission was made by the licensee in response to specification LI 523 issued by Directorate, in accordance with the nuclear site licence (licence condition - LC 28(4)).

The licensee has also requested Directorate agreement to extensions to intervals specified in the maintenance schedule that are controlled in accordance with procedures specified in LC 28(7).

Background

The nuclear site licence requires that operators prepare a plant maintenance schedule, which identifies the examination, inspection, maintenance and testing necessary to meet the requirements of the safety case. The maintenance programme at Sizewell B is contained in the Technical Specifications and Surveillance Programmes, which are based on practice that has been successfully adopted throughout the world for many years. These maintenance programmes satisfy the requirement of LC 28(4) for a plant maintenance schedule.

Directorate has the power to specify that all, or parts, of a plant maintenance schedule be submitted for approval. This means that the approved parts of the plant maintenance schedule cannot be changed without the prior agreement of Directorate.

Directorate site inspection and enforcement guidance requires the plant maintenance schedule for power reactors to contain a preface that sets out the overall maintenance policy and for this preface to be approved by Directorate. The maintenance schedule preface also provides an opportunity for Directorate to issue a blanket agreement to extensions to maintenance intervals that are controlled in accordance with the preface (LC 28(7)).

The maintenance requirements and documentation at Sizewell B were developed directly from international practice for pressurised water reactors (PWRs) and did not originally contain a preface to the plant maintenance schedule that was suitable for approval by Directorate. A suitable preface has now been developed by the licensee at the request of Directorate. This will enable the same regulatory approach to be taken at Sizewell B as with other power reactors. It will also provide a suitable model for the development of maintenance requirements for new PWR reactor designs.

Assessment and inspection work carried out by ND in consideration of this request

Directorate has considered Sizewell B document titled Licence Condition 28 Preface Examination, Inspection, Maintenance and Testing against the requirements of Directorate site inspection and enforcement guidance and similar documents approved by Directorate for other power reactor sites.

Matters arising from NDs work

Assessment work undertaken by Directorate has found that Sizewell B document titled Licence Condition 28 Preface Examination, Inspection, Maintenance and Testing:

Conclusions

The Sizewell B document titled Licence Condition 28 Preface Examination, Inspection, Maintenance and Testing should be approved and an agreement issued under LC 28(7).

Recommendation

Directorate issues licence instruments LI 527 and LI 526 accordingly.