Office for Nuclear Regulation

Hinkley Point C – Inspection ID: 22-013

  • Site: Hinkley Point C
  • IR number: 22-013
  • Date: July 2022
  • LC numbers: 19

Executive summary

Purpose of Intervention

In accordance with the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s (ONR’s) Hinkley Point C (HPC) construction inspection plan, ONR performs a series of planned compliance inspections of identified licence conditions. This is to ensure that NNB Generation Company (HPC) Ltd (NNB GenCo, hereinafter referred to as NNB) is adequately developing and implementing its licence compliance arrangements in a manner commensurate with the stage of the project under consideration.

This intervention was an inspection carried out to assess NNB’s compliance with Licence Condition 19 (LC19); construction or installation of new plant. LC19 requires that where the licensee proposes to construct or install any new plant, which may affect safety, the licensee makes and implements adequate arrangements to control the construction or installation.

This intervention was led by ONR civil engineering construction assurance (CECA) and sought to assess the licensee’s application of relevant good practice in the area of civil engineering construction management; specifically for the mobilisation of post-tensioning (PT) operations for the unit 1 inner containment structure. This is an important nuclear safety classified structure. Given the scale and complexity of this operation, it is anticipated that further interventions will be conducted during the course of the works in order to maintain confidence in the licensee’s adherence to its arrangements.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

This was an office-based intervention at the HPC site on 14 July 2022. At the time of the intervention, PT works had not yet been mobilised on site and therefore it was not appropriate to conduct a supporting site inspection at this time.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

Not applicable.

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

I sampled six broad areas of interest within the context of PT, namely: planning, technical specification, method, trialling and preparatory works, monitoring and recording and nuclear safety culture. I also took some time to discuss forward regulatory engagement strategy; noting that this engagement is quite early and further work is required in this area.

My regulatory expectations at this stage of the PT works were that sufficient understanding of technical conformance risk was in evidence together with sufficient progress having been made to mitigate such risk. Given the highly specialised nature of PT operations, I was also interested to gain assurance that an appropriate level of nuclear safety awareness exists within the sub-contacting organisation performing the work. I can confirm that I am satisfied on this latter point.

Evidence was provided by the licensee in response to my expectations and lines of inquiry. The evidence was sufficient for me to form a regulatory judgement as to the licensee’s compliance with LC19. Overall, in the areas sampled, I was satisfied with the licensee’s arrangements and that the licensee was adequately controlling future risks to conformance associated with the PT works.

Conclusion of Intervention

I am of the opinion that, in the context of this intervention, the licensee is meeting its obligations with respect to LC19. I therefore judge that an intervention rating of GREEN (no formal action) is appropriate in this case.