ONR News - 31 March 2022

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31 March 2022

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Welcome to ONR news

Katie Day

Hello everyone.

Welcome to the latest edition of ONR News, keeping you updated about our work as the UK’s independent nuclear regulator for safety, security and safeguards.

In this edition, you will read about two sites moving from enhanced to routine regulatory attention after close cooperation with ONR, our chairman's recent visit to Sizewell B with the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to boost mutual regulatory cooperation, and details of our link up with The World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) to provide an important learning module for their global academy programme.

We're also pleased to bring you a new regular feature about ONR's staff, entitled Our People - helping you find out more about the work we do every day to keep the industry safe and secure.

I'd like to thank all of you who took part in our recent Stakeholder Survey about our regulation of the UK's nuclear industry. We will be taking a look at the results over the next few weeks and expect to publish them on our website a little later this year.

Of course, the situation in Ukraine is occupying our thoughts as we see events unfold. Here at ONR we have continued to track the position in regard to civil nuclear facilities, keeping in close contact with our international counterparts around the world. As a regulatory community, we are extremely grateful to the Ukrainian regulator, SNRIU, and its staff for their unwavering commitment in continuing to provide timely reports on the state of nuclear safety and the radiological situation in the country.  

Katie Day
Policy and Communications Director

Nuclear sites move from enhanced to routine regulatory attention after safety improvements

AWE Aldermaston

We can today confirm that two licensed nuclear sites have been taken out of enhanced attention due to significant safety improvements.

The Atomic Weapons Establishment’s (AWE) Burghfield site and EDF’s Dungeness B site recently moved into routine regulatory attention following close working with the UK regulator for several years.

Find out more about the changes approved by us at AWE Burghfield and Dungeness B

Three UK regulators in joint chairpersons’ nuclear site visit

The chairpersons of The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited Sizewell B power station together in March, as part of ONR’s routine stakeholder engagement programme.

The meeting at the Suffolk station helped to strengthen the existing ties between the three organisations, who all have a role in nuclear regulation at UK sites and to boost our regulatory cooperation.

Find out more about the joint chairpersons’ visit to Sizewell

Sizewell B visit

Our People - Zoe Wu, Nuclear Internal Hazards and Site Safety Inspector

Zoe Wu

Welcome to a new regular feature, focusing on our staff and the work we do every day to help keep the nuclear industry safe and secure.

'Our People' aims to bring our jobs to life while increasing understanding of our role among our stakeholders.

Find out more about Zoe Wu, Nuclear Internal Hazards and Site Safety Inspector

ONR inspectors secure coveted laureate slots for cross-Channel mentor scheme

The acclaimed UK-France Women In Nuclear programme will be joined by three of our inspectors this year.

Three candidates from ONR were successfully chosen to take part in the initiative which brings together early-to mid-career women in the British and French nuclear sectors to share knowledge and expand international networks.

Find out more about our involvement in the UK-France Women In Nuclear 2022 programme

Stock image of a woman with computer generated image of an atom

ONR contributes to worldwide nuclear learning

WINS academy programme

Our Civil Nuclear Security and Safeguards (CNSS) division has contributed a key training academy module to The World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) to be studied by professionals across the globe.

The team developed content about the implementation of our outcome-focused approach as part of our collaboration with WINS to help us influence international standards, enhance our reputation as a world-leading regulator and work with others to inform continuous improvement.

Find out more about our link-up with WINS

News in brief

Looking to the future: Artificial intelligence in nuclear

We hosted an expert panel earlier this month to discuss the opportunities for the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) in the industry – part of our pledge to enable innovation.

The event was organised jointly with the Advanced Nuclear Skills and Innovation Campus (ANSIC), who are based at National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL).

The discussion focused on proportionate regulation of artificial intelligence in nuclear, where it is in the interest of society and beneficial to the industry’s safety and security.

In our Strategy 2020-25, we made a commitment to enable innovation, new approaches and technologies in how and what we regulate and to share best practice case studies and encourage dialogue.

AI could be used in the nuclear industry to simulate behaviour of reactors, inform reactor design, performance, safety and operation, so, having a clear regulatory approach is important.

It also has potential benefits for nuclear power, including outage, maintenance, planning and inspection, nuclear security and radiation protection.

ONR joins American and Canadian counterparts for Washington trilateral workshop

A trilateral security workshop in Washington DC brought together senior leaders from The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and their counterparts from the United States and Canada as part of our drive for effective engagement on a worldwide platform.

This month’s event was attended by Paul Fyfe, Director of ONR's Civil Nuclear Security and Safeguards (CNSS) division and Paul Shanes, Professional Lead for Cyber Security and Information Assurance.

They joined security representatives from other worldwide regulators - the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

The workshop helped with ONR’s impact upon developing high international standards and guidance for safety, security and safeguards to be incorporated into the UK regulatory system.

A key topic of discussion was the regulation of advanced nuclear reactors and Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) along with conversations about physical protection, cyber security and security of the supply chain.

Of interest to the Americans and Canadians was ONR's outcome focused approach which facilitates the deployment of novel technologies and innovation.