Office for Nuclear Regulation

Hartlepool - SBI 27 Inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The main purpose of this intervention was to undertake a system based inspection of the reactor safety system, trip parameters at EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited’s (NGL) Hartlepool power station in line with the planned inspection programme contained in the Hartlepool Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) for 2018/19.

The inspection was undertaken by the ONR nominated site inspector and C&I, fault studies and internal hazards specialist inspectors.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

During this intervention, the following key activities were undertaken:

The aim of the SBI of the reactor safety system, trip parameters was to judge the system performance against its safety function. This system is concerned primarily with monitoring reactor or plant conditions and initiating a trip of the reactor should reference levels of measured parameters be exceeded. Through examination of these systems, compliance inspections were performed against Licence Conditions (LC) which are applicable provisions of the Energy Act 2013. 

The inspections were based on sampling the implementation of the licensee’s arrangements at Hartlepool power station against the LCs. The objective of the inspection was to determine whether the licensee’s arrangements were adequately implemented and in accordance with the systems’ safety case requirements.

The intervention was performed in line with ONR’s guidance (as set out in ONR’s technical inspection guides which can be found at

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

From the inspection, we judge that overall the reactor safety system, trip parameters meets the requirements of the safety case and is adequate.

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

From the System Based Inspection on the reactor safety system, trip parameters, we concluded that:

The site inspector also attended a number of meetings whilst on site, including; a routine INA update, a two-monthly Regulatory Issues review and, alongside an ONR project inspector, the Outage Intentions meeting ahead of the reactor 2 statutory outage planned to begin in August 2019.  With a small number of exceptions, the station is making good progress towards closure of a number of regulatory issues; regulatory focus will increase on the exceptions.

At the outage intentions meeting, ONR heard the general scope of works to be conducted during the statutory outage.  However, we had some concern over an initiative to examine a 10% reduction in outage duration as it may lead to removal of maintenance of certain items that directly contribute to nuclear safety.  We made it clear to NGL that we would expect sufficient justification of any scope removal, which may be assessed by ONR.  We also advised NGL that the time available for such assessment is reducing ahead of the outage.

Conclusion of Intervention

After considering all of the evidence presented by EDF NGL we concluded that the arrangements and their implementation, associated with the reactor safety system, trip parameters met the requirements of the safety case and were adequate.  An IIS rating of Green (no formal action) is considered to be appropriate for the system based inspection.  The system based inspection resulted in areas of minor improvement being identified, we raised actions with Hartlepool to address these; initial responses have since been received.  Some follow-up (to be undertaken by the site inspector) is required.

There are no findings from this intervention that could significantly undermine nuclear safety at Hartlepool power station. At present, no additional regulatory action is needed over and above the planned interventions of Hartlepool power station as set out in the Integrated Intervention Strategy, which will continue as planned.