The Office for Nuclear Regulation has today published a report detailing safety “events” that took place in the UK between 2015-2017.
None of the events described had any impact on the public or the environment and the vast majority were rated at the lowest levels of the international reporting scale (INES).
This is the first of a new style of report by the ONR designed to give people confidence in how nuclear sites are regulated on the rare occasions that safety-significant events occur.
The report details the 56 safety significant events that took place between April 2015 and December 2017 – describing each event, the dutyholder’s response, and the actions taken by the ONR.
In future years, annual event reports will be published by the ONR to support our strong commitment to openness and transparency.
Dr Anthony Hart, Deputy Chief Inspector and Director of ONR’s Technical Division, said: “The number and nature of the events described in this report reflect the high standards we regulate the industry to and a strong reporting culture among our dutyholders.
“We take every safety event seriously, but none of those detailed in this report should give rise to public concern.
“Nuclear plants in Britain are designed and operated to deal with events such as those described here and we require multiple safety barriers to stop those events becoming more serious. In all of these cases, those multiple barriers worked, but we still require improvements from the dutyholder to ensure that any shortfalls are addressed.”
In the UK, nuclear licensees and other dutyholders are required by law to report nuclear and radiological safety events to ONR. In addition to these legal obligations, ONR encourages the reporting of all safety events with the aim of identifying potential trends or further learning opportunities.
Dr Hart said: “Each event is analysed for wider repercussions and used to inform future inspections. We also assign an inspector to follow up every event and require the dutyholder to report to us on what they did about it.
“For the events we deemed most significant, we took enforcement action to ensure the necessary improvements were made, and these instances are detailed within the report.
“The vast majority of events were of no safety significance, however they may still provide opportunities to identify additional actions that dutyholders – or the ONR itself – can take to improve overall safety on behalf of workers and society as a whole.”
Notes for editors
- For the purpose of communicating the safety significance of nuclear and radiological incidents and events, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) employs the The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). This scale rates incidents and events based on their safety significance, ranging from ‘no safety significance’ to ‘major accident.’ The vast majority of events reported to ONR fall into the ‘no safety significance’ category.
- The report does not include conventional safety or security events.