UK regulator to merge leadership roles

16 December 2020

The UK's Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has announced plans to align its leadership structure to other nuclear regulators around the world with a new combined post of chief nuclear inspector and chief executive. CNI Mark Foy will take up the new combined post, subject to detailed government approvals. A new senior regulatory role, executive director of operations/deputy chief inspector, will also be established. The exact timescales have yet to be confirmed, but the changes will come into effect later in 2021.

Mark Foy, ONR's chief nuclear inspector (Image: EDF)

Under existing contractual arrangements, current CEO Adriènne Kelbie was always expected to step down as her extended term of office comes to an end in January 2022, the ONR said. The change reflects ONR’s successful transition into a mature and high performing organisation since becoming an independent public corporation in 2014 and, since then, ONR has established and developed the organisational functions and systems required of a standalone corporate body, it added.

ONR Chair Mark McAllister said: "Under Adriènne’s leadership since 2016, we’ve come a long way, becoming a mature organisation with the infrastructure required to operate as a self-standing regulator with a healthy and inclusive culture. At the same time, the Chief Nuclear Inspector role has broadened to incorporate a strong command of corporate priorities. Now is the right time to adopt a leadership structure that further integrates and aligns our functions. This new leadership model will support us to deliver our 2020-25 Strategy and continue to protect society by securing safe nuclear operations, now and in the future."

The ONR was formed as an independent statutory public corporation on 1 April 2014, following Tim Stone’s 2008 Nuclear Regulatory Review, conducted on behalf of the government, which recommended the creation of a single industry-specific regulator. The ‘Stone review’ also envisaged the CNI as the most senior leader, but a CEO role was also established to develop the required infrastructure and lead the newly-formed organisation through its transition and early years.

Kelbie became ONR's CEO in January 2016 and in June 2018 she agreed a three-year contract extension, taking her term of employment to January 2022. In October this year, she was appointed a CBE for services to the nuclear industry and to diversity and inclusion. A CBE - Commander of the Order of the British Empire - is the highest ranking Order of the British Empire award (excluding a knighthood/damehood), and is awarded to individuals for having a prominent role at national level, or a leading role at regional level.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News