Improvement Notice served at Heysham 1 Power Station

The Office for Nuclear Regulation has served an Improvement Notice on EDF Energy for contravention of the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (2000) at Heysham 1 Power Station.

Thursday, 4th June 2020, 2:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th June 2020, 2:10 pm
Heysham 1 Power Station.

The notice was served after shortfalls were discovered in the examination and inspection of the Reactor 1 pressure vessel at the plant.

ONR judged that nuclear safety was not compromised by the breach and there was no risk to workers or the public.

EDF Energy has presented an adequate safety case to justify the continued safe operation of the reactor.

Nuclear reactor pressure vessels feature hundreds of sealed penetrations which must be routinely inspected to ensure they are free from defects.

From in excess of 600 penetrations in Reactor 1 at Heysham 1, ONR found that EDF Energy had failed to examine 11 penetrations within the intervals specified in the written maintenance scheme.

EDF Energy must comply with the Improvement Notice, and complete the 11 overdue examinations, by December 18 2020.

An EDF Energy spokesman said: "Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Heysham 1’s planned statutory outage on Unit 1 has been moved from May to September.

"As a result of this, the date for a small number of inspections required by the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations which were planned for the May shutdown was missed.

"We have confirmed to ourselves and reported to the ONR that these missed inspections do not present any risk to the public.

"These inspections will now be carried out during the outage in September."

ONR is the UK’s independent nuclear regulator, with the legal authority to regulate nuclear safety, security and conventional health and safety at 36 licensed nuclear sites in Great Britain.

This includes the existing fleet of operating reactors, fuel cycle facilities, waste management and decommissioning sites, as well as licensed defence sites, together with the regulation of the design and construction of new nuclear facilities.

ONR also regulates the transport of nuclear and radioactive materials by road, rail and inland waterways.