ONR News - 29 September 2022

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29 September 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.

Our newsletter reaches you amid a busy time in the ONR calendar, with some key publications expected in October. This includes our Annual Report and Accounts 2021/22 and our Chief Nuclear Inspector's (CNI) annual report on Great Britain’s nuclear industry. We will be meeting with many of you during the coming weeks to talk more about the CNI report and look forward to hearing your comments.

Earlier this year I mentioned that we were conducting our annual stakeholder survey, which helps us better understand the views of those we work and engage with. The insight enables to us to identify areas of strength, as well as shape our priorities for continuous improvement. Introduction of this revamped newsletter, for example, was in direct response to your comments. Today, I am pleased to share the 2022 report with you.

Our success depends on the confidence that the public and other stakeholders have in us, and that’s why it is central to our Strategy 2020-25. We value diverse feedback, and this most recent report reveals a series of very positive findings for ONR which helps to assure us that our independent regulation of Great Britain’s nuclear industry remains well regarded.

Of course, there are areas for improvement, and we have committed to renewed focus on matters flagged as important by many of you, such as sharing more about how we are enabling innovation. You will find more on this topic in this newsletter as we update you about our latest expert panel on the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) in the nuclear industry.

Elsewhere in the newsletter, we were pleased to have a presence at the recent Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's (NDA) annual stakeholder summit in Scotland to hear about their ongoing work cleaning up the UK's civil nuclear sites, as we continue to work constructively with them, and other licensees, while holding the industry to account in a transparent manner.

Like so many in Britain and across the world, we were saddened to hear of the death of Her Majesty The Queen, earlier this month, and during the national period of mourning, we paused our own external communication activities, along with government departments and other arm's length bodies, as a mark of respect.

As always, if you have any comments about ONR, any of the topics included in this newsletter, or our work in general, please get in touch via contact@onr.gov.uk

Best wishes

Katie Day
Policy and Communications Director

ONR ‘has a positive impact on public safety’, new survey finds

Illustration of sillouettes

A new independent survey has concluded that ONR ‘influences improvements in nuclear safety and security culture.’

The ONR Stakeholder Survey 2022 reveals that 93% believe that ‘ONR is fulfilling its mission to ‘protect society by securing safe nuclear operations.’

Find out more about the stakeholder survey and its breakdown of results


ONR attends Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s annual stakeholder summit

NDA Summit

‘Collaboration and transparency’ were two values which resonated with ONR senior leaders attending the recent Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) annual stakeholder summit.

Sarah High, ONR’s Deputy Chief Executive and Paul Dicks, ONR’s Director of Regulation – Sellafield, Decommissioning Fuel and Waste, were among delegates in Edinburgh for the event focusing on the ongoing work cleaning up the UK’s civil nuclear sites.

Find out more about ONR’s attendance at the NDA summit

Our People – Jamie Culshaw, nuclear safety inspector and chemistry specialist

Jamie Culshaw

Welcome to our regular Our People feature, focusing on our staff and the work we do every day to help keep the UK’s nuclear industry safe and secure.

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

Find out more about Jamie Culshaw, nuclear safety inspector and chemistry specialist

ONR leads expert discussion on AI in nuclear industry

AI illustration

An expert panel of nuclear sector leaders recently met to discuss opportunities for the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) in the industry.

Jointly organised by ONR and the Advanced Nuclear Skills and Innovation Campus (ANSIC), the seminar panel in Oxford analysed potential applications of AI that could be taken into ONR’s new regulatory sandbox.

Find out more about the AI panel event in Culham

News in brief

Topical Peer Review event attendees

Fire protection focus for second Topical Peer Review

The Office for Nuclear Regulation hosted a stakeholder event for the second Topical Peer Review (TPR 2) covering fire protection safety at nuclear installations.

The European Union’s revised Nuclear Safety Directive requires member states to undertake national assessments on a specific safety topic, selected by European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG), every six years, followed by a peer review by other member states.

The subsequent National Assessment Report (NAR) will be published in autumn 2023.


Pressure system shortfalls at two nuclear power stations

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) served improvement notices on EDF for contraventions of Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (2000) (PSSR) at Hartlepool and Heysham 1 power stations.

Inspections identified that EDF had failed to include all the required items of pressure equipment within Written Schemes of Examination for several of those systems at the sites in County Durham and Lancashire.

There were no consequences for the public or the environment due to the shortfalls.