Skip to Main Content
Awards 2023

ONR news

Hello everyone.

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

This is our first newsletter of 2024 which has already brought with it the government's newly-announced Civil Nuclear Roadmap, and its blueprint for a reshaped sector with new pathways for emerging nuclear technologies.

The industry that we regulate is entering a period of planned growth on a scale not seen for many years, and it is important that we remain ready and able to meet changing demands while delivering our mission to protect society.

In this edition, you can read further details of how we will support the government’s ambitions and the preparations we have been making for some time to streamline our regulation while ensuring it remains proportionate and robust.

And you can read our work on ongoing Generic Design Assessments (GDA), along with news of a further new entrant to the GDA process, which we manage alongside fellow regulators, the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales.

We also clarify our role in design development of the Hinkley Point C plant following EDF’s recent update on project timescales and costs, and there are details of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Integrated Regulatory Review Service follow-up mission to the UK in recent days, scrutinising our regulatory infrastructure against global standards.

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

Rachel Grant

Director of Policy and Communications

UK mission studies country’s regulatory infrastructure

Worldwide nuclear experts have undertaken a seven-day follow-up mission to evaluate the country’s regulatory infrastructure against required global safety standards.

Read more about ONR’s role in this international peer review

ONR’s role in government’s Civil Nuclear Roadmap

Hear how we stand ready to independently regulate the country’s anticipated growing nuclear sector while maintaining high standards of safety, security and safeguards.

Read about our ongoing timescales work for new reactor assessments

Hinkley Point C project update

We explain the regulatory position behind the evolving European Pressurised Water Reactor (EPR) design at the Somerset site.

Read more about our role in the design of HPC

Our People – Jerome Allison, Nuclear Safety Equivalent Inspector

Jerome Allison is part of a team responsible for regulating the transport of radioactive materials by road, rail and inland waterways within Great Britain.

Find out more about Jerome's role and his Small Modular Reactor secondment

Fire protection at nuclear installations - stakeholder feedback required

Fire safety is a topic under review by European Nuclear Safety Regulators with a cross-continent response to be developed to maintain best practice.

More on how stakeholder input is needed for this Topical Peer Review work

New reactor assessment underway

The Office for Nuclear Regulation, along with the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales, has started a two-step Generic Design Assessment (GDA) for GE Hitachi’s BWRX300 reactor.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero made the request to the regulators following its readiness review of the GE Hitachi application.

This review concluded that the design is ready to enter the GDA process.

The GDA will look to actively explore opportunities to maximise the value of international regulatory collaboration and identify efficiencies in processes.

DRDL and Kaefer Ltd to be prosecuted after injury to worker

We have notified Devonport Royal Dockyard Limited (DRDL) and Kaefer Limited that they will be prosecuted under health and safety legislation.

The charge relates to an incident on the DRDL nuclear licensed site in Plymouth onboard HMS Bulwark, where a scaffolder employed by Kaefer Limited fell and sustained serious injuries during maintenance work on the ship.

The incident was a conventional health and safety matter and there was no radiological risk to the public. HMS Bulwark is a surface ship, with no nuclear components, but the incident happened within the boundary of the nuclear licensed site and was therefore investigated by us.

The first hearing is scheduled to take place at Plymouth Magistrates Court on 27 March.

Our website is changing


Our website is undergoing a rebuild as part of a commitment to provide information, guidance and support that is easy to access and understand.

A streamlined website, scheduled for launch this spring, helps to provide a user friendly service to all who visit our pages.

The type of information available online will remain the same, but how we present it will change.

Rachel Grant, our Director of Policy and Communications, said: “Updating our website is a big step forward in our ambitions to modernise our engagement. For many of our stakeholders, the website is the face of ONR and so this will make it easier for us to effectively interact with the public."