Risk management consultancy Corporate Risk Associates (CRA) has been awarded a new contract by the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to support the client’s efforts in performing the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of Hitachi-GE’s UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR).
The reactor designs, which energy company Horizon Nuclear Power plans to operate at sites in Anglesey and Oldbury, are currently proceeding through the fourth and final step of the GDA process.
A necessary requirement for any prospective reactor technology to be operated in the UK, the GDA will be supported by CRA, and is a full and thorough design assessment procedure.
CRA will help to ensure that the reactors meet the robust reliability standards of the regulator and can be operated safely. This will minimise the risk of human error across all nuclear safety situations to below acceptable limits.
The work will be led by CRA’s Human Factors service delivery team with Dr Les Ainsworth – a specialist in human reliability, safety case and task analysis – acting as overall technical lead.
Dr Ainsworth has led a distinguished career spanning over 40 years within the Human Factors sector and built up a strong reputation for the practical application of ergonomics and psychology to complex industrial processes and systems in the nuclear sector both in the UK and abroad. He has been heavily involved in supporting the ONR assessments for licensing the EDF and Westinghouse reactor designs for the UK.
Speaking about the contract win, Dr Ainsworth informed Risk UK: “We’re delighted to be working on such an important Human Claims and Reliabilities assessment for the ONR and the UK energy sector, which will be performed under CRA’s growing Human Factors service offering. Securing this contract is testament to our increasing involvement in Best Practice human reliability analysis performed to support both existing and planned nuclear developments here in the UK and overseas.”
Strong pedigree in the nuclear sector
Founded back in 2000, CRA boasts a strong pedigree in the nuclear sector having advised on the management of safety, risk and reliability across projects including the Magnox plant at Wylfa, all seven of the UK’s advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGR) and the recently approved Hinkley Point C. It’s envisaged the latest project will take up to 12 months to complete with four CRA staff involved.
Boasting a team of 35 consultants, CRA prides itself on managing safety, reliability and risk across the nuclear, rail and defence industries, delivering scrutiny as part of licensing processes that ensure projects across these sectors can be operated safely and effectively.
Boiling Water Reactors are one of the world’s most common types of nuclear power generating technology and the ABWR is considered state-of-the-art. Since the introduction of boiling water reactor technology, Hitachi has participated in the design, development and construction of over 20 nuclear power plants in Japan alone.