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Pressure system shortfalls at two UK nuclear power stations

09 September 2022

The UK Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has served improvement notices on EDF for contraventions of the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (2000) (PSSR) at Hartlepool and Heysham 1 power stations. The enforcement action follows a targeted ONR inspection at Hartlepool in late June.

Hartlepool power station - Image: ONR
Hartlepool power station - Image: ONR

The June inspection identified that EDF had failed to include all the required items of pressure equipment within Written Schemes of Examination for several of those systems at the site in County Durham.

Following the ONR inspection at Hartlepool, EDF carried out a review which found similar breaches at Heysham 1 power station in Lancashire, the sister station to the Hartlepool site. This resulted in ONR serving similar improvement notices on both sites.

There were no consequences to the public or the environment as a result of the shortfalls.

PSSR regulations place duties on the owner of the pressure system to establish the scope of their Written Schemes of Examination which will determine the nature and frequency of in-service examinations of selected equipment within the pressure system. The ONR inspection found that EDF had failed in this duty for some of these systems which support the operation of the reactor.

Mike Webb, ONR’s Superintending Inspector for Operating Reactors, said: “Following our inspection we concluded that EDF had breached the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (2000) (PSSR) at Hartlepool Power Station. Similar breaches have subsequently been identified by EDF at Heysham 1 Power Station and we have also served an improvement notice on the site. We will engage with EDF during the period of the improvement notices to ensure positive progress is made to address the shortfalls at both sites.”

EDF has until the 5 October 2022 to comply with the improvement notice at Hartlepool and until 15 October 2022 to comply with the notice at Heysham 1.

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