Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Clarification statement regarding ONR’s funding

31 January, 2018

On 23 January 2018 a statement was made in Parliament by Dr Alan Whitehead MP relating to ONR’s funding and the Government intention to halve the grant to the ONR in the period to 2020.

ONR would like to provide clarification on our funding position:

  • ONR funding is provided predominantly by charges to the nuclear industry and an element of grant funding from DWP. In the period 2016/17 ONR was funded by cost recovery from dutyholders (96%) and a grant from DWP (4%).
  • Under the Energy Act 2013, ONR makes a full cost recovery for certain chargeable services and receives grant funding for the non-chargeable activities such as safeguards inspection.
  • The grant made available to ONR by DWP to cover existing statutory activities for which ONR cannot charge industry is reviewed annually to ensure adequate funding is in place, should requirements change.
  • As Richard Harrington, Minister for Business and Industry, explained in his statement on 23January 2018 to Parliament:
    ‘We have been transparent about the costs and resources required to set up a domestic civil nuclear safeguards regime. In October 2017, we published estimates of what those costs will be in the explanatory notes to the Bill. The relevant section, “Financial implications of the Bill,” explains that the Department will allocate the necessary funding to the ONR – about £10 million to set up the regime, and ongoing costs of about £10 million a year. I assure the House that we are keeping the estimates under review as the details of the regime develop.’