Office for Nuclear Regulation

Sizewell A projects inspection

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

This inspection was undertaken as part of a planned programme of inspections for 2019/20 at Magnox Ltd.’s (ML) Sizewell A licensed nuclear.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

During this intervention, the planned System Based Inspection (SBI) of the FED project plant procurement and installation could not be undertaken as the project has been frozen due to funding cuts. 

I attended the Annual Regional Review of Safety Security and the Environment (ARRoSSE). To review the regions performance over the previous year.

I discussed the current status of the decommissioning of the ponds and reviewed the incident where a burst connection on the ponds recirculating pump circuit doused an operator in pond water.

I reviewed the management of the Bradwell site and the preparations for performing the voids inspections later in the year.

I attended the Sizewell SSG and spoke to the Sizewell A SSG report.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

The conclusion of this intervention was that the site was adjusting to the loss of funding which is causing most project work not already underway to be frozen. This is as a result of the reduction in funding available to ML and the need to prioritise important work across all 12 sites.  As the funding for the FED project is stopped, the planned SBI was not of any relevance.

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

I examined the work to plan for the immediate future on the site. There is a small amount of funding available to allow the projects to have limited enabling works to be progressed. However, no significant progress with the remaining decommissioning of the station can be undertaken until adequate funding is made available. The site is in good condition and assuming that adequate maintenance is carried out there should be no safety issues arising from the planned freeze on decommissioning work.

The ARRoSSE showed that the overall performance of the region has been good. Bradwell has entered care and maintenance stage of decommissioning and ML is currently clearing the site of the remaining waste, Dungeness A has recognised the issues with corrosion and are working on a plan to undertake a programme of work to resolve the issues. Sizewell A has undertaken a successful programme of demolition of the cold and dark facilities on the site.

Conclusion of Intervention

From the evidence gathered during this intervention I was satisfied that the site was preparing adequately for the effect of the proposed funding cuts and making adequate arrangements for managing the Bradwell site voids inspections due in September.

I concluded that there are no matters of nuclear safety concern and that the incidents involving the ponds recirculation pump hose failure has been properly investigated and appropriate measures to prevent re-occurrence taken.