UK regulator submits 2018-2019 Corporate Plan

11 May 2018

The UK's Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has laid its latest Corporate Plan before Parliament in which it lists its ten priorities for 2018-2019. These include developing a new regime to meet safeguarding obligations following Parliament's decision to exit Euratom, along with measures to support the implementation of new emergency planning arrangements as a result of the Basic Standards Directive.

ONR is the public corporation set up under the Energy Act 2013 as the independent, statutory regulator of nuclear safety, nuclear security, and conventional health and safety at nuclear sites in the UK.

The government said in March it is working closely with ONR to ensure that it will be in a position to take on the role and responsibilities required to ensure the UK's future domestic civil nuclear safeguards regime meets international standards and nuclear non-proliferation standards when Euratom safeguards arrangements no longer apply in the UK. The UK intends to leave the European Atomic Energy Community, also known as Euratom Treaty, when it exits the European Union in March next year.

"We regulate the safety and security of a significant nuclear legacy, radioactive waste, an ageing reactor fleet, ageing defence facilities, nuclear new build and the transport of civil radioactive materials. We also regulate conventional health and safety, including fire safety, on licensed nuclear sites and provide regulatory oversight for the transportation of civil nuclear materials. We also support the UK in meeting its safeguards obligations through facilitating the current activities of Euratom," ONR says in its Corporate Plan.

"Following the UK's decision to leave the European Union, we will continue to work with government to meet the UK's continuing commitments (for example, the Nuclear Safety Directive) and identify and plan for changes required to implement revised government policy. We will support the UK government in managing a smooth exit from Euratom, particularly in relation to nuclear safeguards arrangements and helping ensure the UK's continued compliance with international standards."

New ways of working, it said, include: developing an independent UK state system of accounting for and control of (SSAC) nuclear material; assisting in the development of a new radiation emergency preparedness and public information regulations (REPPIR 2018) code of practice and guidance on the amendment to transport regulations to support implementation of the Euratom Basic Safety Standards Directive (BSSD) 2013; and implementing the NERA6 report, 'The economic impact of ONR safety regulation', action plan as agreed by its regulatory management team.

It will work with UK safeguards dutyholders and the inspectorates of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Euratom to enable continued safeguards compliance in the UK (to March 2019), and submit reports fulfilling the UK's obligations to Euratom, the IAEA, and under Nuclear Cooperation Agreements.

"ONR will continue to support UK exit from Euratom, including through expert input to negotiations (e.g. to establish new trade agreements) and legislation (for example, to the Nuclear Safeguards Bill and development of nuclear safeguards regulations); establishing additional safeguards capability; and delivering a UK SSAC by 29 March 2019 that meets UK international reporting obligations.

The ONR's top ten organisational priorities also include plans to: strengthen and improve engagement with stakeholders; enhance succession planning, leadership development and improve capability and capacity through recruiting and developing staff; simplify line management structures to provide more effective leadership and free up inspector time to perform regulatory duties; develop an internal improvement project to focus on leadership and improve ONR's culture; improve cyber security and information governance; modernise its IT systems; and update and improve knowledge management and business processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness throughout ONR.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News