ONR News - 21 November 2022

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21 November 2022

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Welcome to ONR news

Katie Day

Hello everyone

Before introducing this edition of ONR News, I wanted to reflect on the very sad news of the tragic death at the Hinkley Point C site following an incident involving a construction vehicle. Our thoughts remain with the man’s family, friends and colleagues at this extremely difficult time, and ONR continues to work alongside other relevant authorities as we seek to establish the incident circumstances.

As the UK’s independent nuclear regulator for safety, security and safeguards, we have recently laid our Annual Report and Accounts 2021/22 in Parliament and held our industry conference in London.

The conference was attended by senior figures from government and the nuclear sector, returning after a three-year gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was described by our industry stakeholders in their feedback as a successful and engaging event.

The conference focused on our Chief Nuclear Inspector Mark Foy's annual report, detailing the performance of Great Britain’s nuclear industry during 2021/22, highlighting areas of good practice, and where improvements are necessary. Last week, we discussed the report with the ONR NGO Forum at our meeting in Manchester.

In this ONR News, we launch the start of a four-week consultation on our new policy for openness and transparency with interested stakeholders and the public. Without doubt, inspiring public confidence is essential to being an effective and trusted regulator, and our new policy sets out what we do now, and what we intend to do in the future, to be more open and transparent about our work and the decisions we make.

Also featured in this e-bulletin is news of the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA) autumn 2022 Plenary Meeting, which ONR hosted in early November at the Museum of Liverpool. Attended by about 50 delegates from 20 countries, it allowed us to bolster our relationships with partners from the international nuclear community as we continue to work together to maintain high standards of nuclear safety and security.

Finally, you will read about an ONR delegation in Vienna attending the quadrennial Symposium on International Safeguards. Held every four years, it brings together global stakeholders involved in measures to ensure countries do not use nuclear materials from civil nuclear programmes for non-peaceful purposes. Coming almost at the end of two years since we officially became the state regulatory authority for nuclear safeguards, it helps us learn from others and evaluate our work.

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

Openness and transparency policy – have your say!

Opennes and transparent policy

We have started a four-week consultation period on our draft openness and transparency policy as we strive to enhance public confidence about our role as the UK's independent nuclear regulator.

Strengthening our engagement with interested stakeholders is essential to being an effective and trusted regulator and a key part of us becoming an exemplar of transparency.

Find out more about our goals for openness and transparency

Chief Nuclear Inspector publishes annual report, detailing performance of Great Britain’s nuclear industry

CNI report front cover

Our Chief Nuclear Inspector (CNI), Mark Foy, has published his annual report detailing the safety, security and safeguards performance of the nuclear industry during 2021/22.

The key publication was unveiled before more than 80 delegates at the first ONR Industry Conference in three years following the pandemic.

Find out more about ONR's CNI Annual Report 2021/22

ONR welcomes European regulator forum to Liverpool

WENRA meeting

Small modular reactors and the impact of the Ukraine conflict on civil nuclear facilities were topics on the agenda at last week's autumn plenary meeting of the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA).

Hosted by ONR at the Museum of Liverpool, the meeting was attended by delegates from 20 different countries - helping to enhance our relationships with our counterparts across the globe.

Find out more about the WENRA two-day conference on Merseyside

ONR delegation in Vienna for international safeguards symposium

Austria conference delegates

Our safeguards team sent a delegation to Vienna this month for a symposium bringing together global stakeholders involved in the crucial work of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Held every four years by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Symposium on International Safeguards comes almost two years since ONR officially became the state regulatory authority for nuclear safeguards after the UK exit from the European Atomic Energy Community.

Find out more about our delegation who attended the safeguards symposium

News in brief

Annual Report and Accounts 2021/22 published

ONR Annual Report and Accounts

This month, we published our Annual Report and Accounts covering 2021/22.

The report demonstrates the progress made towards achieving our vision to be a modern, transparent regulator, delivering trusted outcomes and value.

Key report highlights include issuing a design acceptance confirmation for the UK Hualong Pressurised Water Reactor and stakeholder feedback that ONR continues to be viewed, as ‘professional, independent and trusted.'

Chair Mark McAllister said: “Protecting staff wellbeing and ensuring we maintained our resilience as the pandemic continued has been paramount for us, so we could deliver the critical and essential activities that enable us to regulate the UK nuclear industry effectively and to protect society."

'Safety leadership - 'a nuclear industry perspective'

Nick Shaw

We were invited to talk about nuclear safety at a recent Institution of Chemical Engineers Hazards 32 conference.

Nick Shaw, ONR Principal Nuclear Safety Inspector, gave a presentation titled ‘Safety leadership: a nuclear industry perspective’ at the three-day event in Harrogate, Yorkshire.

It was an opportunity to explain the guidance we have developed for our specialist inspectors when undertaking assessments of safety leadership.

Our safety leadership guidance was produced with the support of Professor Kevin Kelloway, of St Mary’s University, in Canada, and Dr Jennifer Wong, of the University of Canterbury, in New Zealand.