The UK Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), following an inspection of the supply chain for Hinkley Point C, has identified five areas of management which need to be improved in the construction and manufacturing for the project.
EDF Energy is building two 1600MWe EPR units at Hinkley Point C at an expected cost of GBP19.6bn ($27bn). ONR said in a report on 15 March that its inspection was undertaken in the wake of record falsification issues identified in 2016 at Areva’s Le Creusot forge (now operated by Framatome), which will supply key components to Hinkley Point C. France’s Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) confirmed the falsification, identifying significant technical and organisational shortcomings at Le Creusot.
ONR rated the findings of its investigation as “amber”, indicating that some arrangements are below standard and need improving. The areas include improvement programmes, lessons learned, self-assessment and quality assurance. ONR said good progress had been made by site licensee NNB GenCo (EDF Energy’s subsidiary) and Le Creusot in implementing an improvement programme including better manufacturing processes, management system arrangements and safety and quality culture. However, evidence was not shown demonstrating how NNB GenCo had learnt from the failings at Creusot Forge. ONR also said that NNB GenCo's supply chain improvement programme needs further development to make sure it is prioritised and better aligned with the project's schedule.