EDF is making good progress with its supply chain management at Hinkley C, but there are still some areas that require improvement, according to the leading nuclear watchdog.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation ONR recently carried out an inspection of supply chain arrangements after records had found to be falsified at one of the project's key suppliers - Areva's Creusot Forge in France, now known as Framatome.

The regulator found good progress had been made, with improvements in some area of the supply chain management by the nuclear site licensee NNB GenCo.

However the ONR identified five key areas where 'further improvements are required' ahead of the planned acceleration of construction and manufacturing at the Somerset site.

ONR has rated the overall inspection finding as ‘amber’. This means that some arrangements are below standard and ONR is seeking improvements against a number of Regulatory Issues.

In the report it states: "We found that there was a lack of clarity over the project-wide leadership of NNB GenCo’s quality organisation, this included responsibility for establishing an effective management system and communicating the quality standards, roles and responsibilities across the project to ensure ‘right first time’ delivery on the construction site."

A total of 11 ONR inspectors examined the robustness of NNB GenCo’s arrangements for ensuring the quality of plant structures, systems and components for the new nuclear power plant. Inspections took place over seven days in both England and France.

Mark Foy, ONR chief nuclear inspector, said: “ONR believes that good progress has been made by NNB GenCo and its key supplier Areva Creusot Forge in deploying their improvement programmes – including enhanced manufacturing processes, management system arrangements and safety and quality culture.

“However the inspection has identified a number of areas where improvements are required to ensure this position is robustly maintained as the project progresses and the volume of work and resources required increases.

“For each of the five Regulatory Issues that we have raised, detailed corrective actions will be agreed with NNB GenCo that will identify specific improvement activity and delivery dates.

"We will continue to engage with NNB GenCo and consider its progress against commitments during future regulatory assessment work associated with key project permissioning points."

EDF said it is already undertaking work to tackle the issues raised in the report.

An EDF spokesman said: “The Chief Nuclear Inspector’s report recognises that the current quality control arrangements for Hinkley Point C are appropriate. Robust independent inspection by the regulator helps to ensure that we and our suppliers maintain the highest standards of safety and quality.

"EDF Energy is already implementing measures where improvement is required ahead of an increase in construction and manufacturing activities.”