Office for Nuclear Regulation

Hinkley Point B - Radiological Protection Inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This intervention was in relation to the 2018 statutory outage of reactor Unit 4 at Hinkley Point B (HPB) and in particular we inspected the radiological protection arrangements that the licensee had in place for the outage.  It was conducted as part of a series of planned ONR interventions related to the HPB statutory R4 outage.

The inspection undertaken by two ONR Radiological Protection Specialists.  It is to be noted that we both attended a site familiarisation visit the previous week.

The aim of this specialist intervention was to:

My conclusions on these matters informed the development of my overall opinion of the Licensee’s readiness to bring reactor Unit 4 back to power in due course.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

During the intervention a review of radiological protection arrangements was addressed.  This included:

The intervention was performed in line with ONR's guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides) in the areas inspected.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable - no system based inspection was undertaken.

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

In respect to the agenda, and objectives set above, this intervention did not reveal any significant nuclear safety issues relevant to the reactor Unit 4 outage that required action by the Licensee or follow-up by ONR.  An inspection rating of Green was therefore assigned against IRR17.

The Station had recently appointed a new Head of Radiation Protection (HoRP).  It was apparent that he had undertaken appropriate planning and made good use of operational experience (OPEX) in outage planning.  E.g. Reviewing all outage RWPs prior to commencement of the current outage.

The Station intend to recruit a new Accredited Health Physicist (AccHP) but as this appeared likely to have a significant lead-in time before a suitably qualified person is in post, and noting the current level of resources, I recommended to the Technical & Safety Support Manger (TSSM) that a review of current plans for radiological protection resourcing be undertaken. 

The Pre-outage ALARP report requires improvements for the 2019 outage.  

It was apparent during the Plant inspection that housekeeping whilst generally very good, there were a few areas for improvement and the HoRP took measures to address these. 

Conclusion of Intervention

From a radiological protection standpoint, we were content with the Licensee’s conduct of its statutory outage work programme and with its level of compliance against their associated radiological protection documentation (polices & procedures).  

At the time of writing this report, there were no specific recommendations that I need to make relating to ONR granting a Consent, under licence condition 30 of the Licensee’s nuclear site licence, allowing the Licensee to return reactor Unit 4 to power in due course.