Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sizewell B - Organisational Capability

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to undertake licence condition (LC) compliance inspections at EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited’s (NGL) Sizewell B Power Station, in line with the ONR’s Operational Facilities Division intervention strategy. The intervention was carried out by the ONR site inspector with support from an organisational capability specialist inspector.  

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

We undertook a themed inspection on the topic of Organisational Capability. This included a licence compliance inspection of NGL’s arrangements for Licence Condition (LC) 36 (Organisational Capability) which requires that, ‘the licensee shall provide and maintain adequate financial and human resources to ensure the safe operation of the licensed site’. The inspection was the last of three planned inspections intended to evaluate the effectiveness of NGL’s arrangements for managing organisational capability across operating reactor fleet. We inspected the stations staffing recovery project and examined plans for the accelerated training of four experienced staff to become control room supervisors. This included an inspection of NGL’s arrangements for LC 10 (Training) and LC 12 (Duly Authorised Persons and Suitably Qualified and Experienced Persons).

The Site Inspector also met with staff to discuss the proposed scope of work for refuelling outage 17 and review NGL’s programme for refurbishment of Emergency Diesel Generator 4.

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

No system based inspection was undertaken hence, this is not applicable for this intervention.

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

The station presented evidence to show how it was managing its human resources and managing organisational change.
We examined the station’s arrangements for managing its nuclear baseline (the means by which the licensee demonstrates that its organisational structure, staffing and competencies are suitable and sufficient to manage nuclear safety).

We reviewed the nuclear baseline with a range of Departmental Managers and we interviewed a range of staff about resourcing. We found they could clearly articulate their resource requirements and they all had a clear view on potential vulnerabilities in their Departments and could explain how they were managing these. We found that the nuclear baseline did not represent a fully capable organisation nor was the Station’s nuclear baseline justified. We considered that there were some Sizewell specific roles which should be considered for inclusion in the nuclear baseline.

We examined the arrangements in place for managing organisational changes and sampled a number of changes in order to judge whether they were appropriately categorised and whether risks were identified and managed.

Based on our sample of interviews, observations and document reviews we judged that there are effective processes in place to manage and monitor human resources and organisational change. We identified a number of positive findings and good practices. We also identified some opportunities where the station can improve the effectiveness of its activities in this area.

Our main finding related to the model baseline contained within NGL’s arrangements which we considered needed updating to help sites identify the resources needed to maintain safety. Since this is a fleet wide we will write to the company seeking improvements.
We judged that the station had put in place adequate arrangements for accelerated training to control room supervisor level for a group of experienced staff. The impact of delivering a range of training programmes to develop main control room staff on the stations ability to deliver continuing training had been assessed and is time bound. We found that further work is needed to deliver some of the mitigations e.g. touch drills.

Overall, we judge the licensee was managing human resources adequately and have therefore assigned a rating of Green (no formal action) for LC36 compliance. We assigned a rating of Green for both LCs 10 and 12.

Conclusion of Intervention

There are no findings from this inspection that could significantly undermine nuclear safety and no change is necessary to the planned interventions and inspections at Sizewell B as a result.