Office for Nuclear Regulation

Hinkley Point B – Inspection ID: 52484

Executive summary

Date(s) of inspection:

  • September 2023

Aim of inspection

This is a planned inspection of EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd.’s (NGL’s) Hinkley Point B Power Station, undertaken as part of the planned intervention strategy for the Operating Facilities Division (OFD) of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). The work was carried out in accordance with the planned inspection programme contained in the Hinkley Point B Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS) for 2023/24.

The purpose of this intervention is to seek assurance on the adequacy of the implementation of the safety case for the Hinkley Point B Fuel Route.  In particular the safe handling of the fuel in the charge machine and Irradiated Fuel Dismantling Cell (IFD).

Subject(s) of inspection

  • LC 10 – Training – Rating: GREEN
  • LC 23 – Operating rules – Rating: GREEN
  • LC 24 – Operating instructions – Rating: GREEN
  • LC 27 – Safety mechanisms, devices and circuits – Rating: GREEN
  • LC 28 – Examination, inspection, maintenance and testing – Rating: GREEN
  • LC 34 – Leakage and escape of radioactive material and radioactive waste – Rating: Not Rated
  • Overall Inspection Rating – Rating: GREEN

Key findings, inspector’s opinions and reasons for judgement made

The purpose of this intervention was to judge the adequacy of the implementation of the safety case for the Hinkley Point B (HPB) fuel route operation. The two day on-site System Based Inspection (SBI) of the HPB fuel route was led by the ONR nominated site inspector supported by an ONR specialist fault studies inspector and another site inspector.  The inspection comprised discussions with HPB staff, a plant inspection and reviews of plant records and other documentation.

Prior to the inspection, I had conducted a review of the Off-Load Depressurised Defueling (ODD) safety case confirming that the inspection scope and samples used in HNB fuel route inspection are applicable to HPB fuel route SBI. In other words, the movement of irradiated fuel between the reactor and the flask storage bay via the Irradiated Fuel Dismantling cell (IFD) and pond (i.e. fuel route) are identified as an area of higher risk.  This inspection therefore targeted the safety measures in place to prevent a dropped fuel plug or fuel stringer.

Conclusion

From the areas sampled I judged that Hinkley Point B had met the legal requirements and therefore an inspection rating of Green (no formal action) is merited for the licence conditions inspected; LC10, LC23, LC24, LC27 and LC28.  I also judged that Hinkley Point B had adequately implemented the requirements of the offload depressurised defueling safety case. A number of minor shortfalls were identified during the inspection relating to record keeping and plant condition. I judged these did not undermine safe defueling operations but advised the station that these needed addressing. In light of the low safety significance I will follow these up as part of routine business.