Office for Nuclear Regulation

Torness - Level 1 Exercise and ARoS

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

The purposes of this intervention at the Torness Power Station were to assess ‘Level 1’ emergency exercise Torridon, and to attend the Station’s Annual Review of Safety (ARoS).

The intervention was planned in accordance with ONR’s Torness Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) for 2018/19.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

As nominated site inspector I was part of a multi-functional ONR team assessing ‘Level 1’ demonstration exercise ‘Torridon’. This was a security-focused exercise and the security aspects of the emergency response are described in the report by the ONR Civil Nuclear Security Inspector, however there were aspects that were equally relevant to nuclear safety emergency response and Licence Condition 11, and those are recorded here.

The visit also included the Torness Annual Review of Safety, which is an opportunity for the Station to present its view of safety and security performance to the regulators for discussion.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable – no system based inspections were performed during this intervention.

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

Exercise Torridon

This exercise included a simulated security incident that required command, control and coordination by the Central Control room (CCR), the Emergency Control Centre (ECC), the Site Security Control Centre (SSCR) and the gatehouse as would a ‘normal’ safety emergency. The exercise also required control of staff movement for their safety.

Command and control of the response was mostly effective, including the CCR and ECC retaining an appropriate level of control that balanced safety and security, and good coordination between security and plant management. The wider control of safe movement of the bulk of staff was not as successful in all instances. Overall though this was judged an adequate demonstration.

The security-specific aspects are recorded separately.

Annual Review of Safety

The self-assessment presented in the Annual Review of Safety was open, honest and in good agreement with the views of regulators. The meeting was attended by SEPA, and both security and safety inspectors from ONR. The views discussed will inform ONR intervention plans for 2019/20.

Conclusion of Intervention

The ONR team presented its conclusions at a meeting with station management. The exercise was rated ‘Green - no formal action’. The areas for improvement concerning safe movement of staff will be followed up though normal interactions with the station. 

There were no findings from this inspection that significantly undermine nuclear safety or which would result in changes to the planned interventions and inspections of Torness Power Station.