Office for Nuclear Regulation

NNB GenCo, Bridgewater House - INA 3: Effectiveness of the Independent Nuclear Assurance Function

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This intervention was to assess the adequacy of NNB GenCo Independent Nuclear Assurance (INA) against relevant good practice. It will support ONR’s permissioning decision for the next major Hinkley Point C (HPC) hold point, bulk MEH.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

This was an LC 17 Intervention where ONR assessed NNB GenCo’s INA against relevant good practice. We used relevant good practice to develop our objectives. The overall objective was for INA to demonstrate that they provide an adequate independent challenge to the HPC project organisation. The main objective was supported by the following sub-objectives:

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

Capability: INA’s stakeholders consider INA has good quality people. ONR has confidence in the people we have worked with. ONR will monitor the timely implementation of a more professionalised INA that includes assessor accreditation.

Capacity: INA has a strategy that takes into account the changing project requirements and ONR has found no evidence to indicate that INA’s current resources are not sufficient.

INA Advice: ONR and project stakeholders consider that INA’s advice is good quality. ONR considers that INA’s follow up on their advice to require improvement so that it is more consistent.

Project’s response to INA: ONR found that INA’s stakeholders valued their advice. However, ONR could not fully determine the project’s response because INA is not consistently following up on their advice.

INA Strategy: ONR recognises the improvements that INA has made. We have taken confidence from INA’s strategy and improvement plans. Furthermore, ONR commends the output of INA’s work. However, INA’s strategy accepts that INA still has to improve.

Conclusion of Intervention

ONR found that INA is a team of effective individuals who produce good quality assurance work. INA has recognised that as an organisation they need to make improvements. However, ONR consider that planned improvements for follow up of INA advice are not sufficient. Therefore, ONR expects INA to refocus and prioritise this activity.

Subject to planned improvements, ONR has confidence in the current capability and capacity of INA. We do not consider additional improvements to currently be significant. Although, this may change without effective action. As a result we judge that INA is providing an adequate independent challenge to NNB GenCo and we rate this intervention as Green.