Office for Nuclear Regulation

This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience. You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – ONR Position

21 May, 2020

Nuclear safety

ONR is continuing to obtain assurance that nuclear site licensees and other dutyholders are adequately resourced to continue to safely and securely carry out their activities. We remain satisfied with industry’s response at this time and there has been no significant change to dutyholders’ safety and security resilience.

All licensed sites are required to determine minimum staffing levels necessary to ensure safe and secure operations and contingency arrangements in the event that these levels are not met. This condition is specifically designed to ensure that industry can adequately manage and control activities that could impact on nuclear safety and security under all foreseeable circumstances, including pandemics.

Social distancing at nuclear sites

We are supporting national efforts to ensure that social distancing and shielding measures are being properly observed at licensed nuclear sites, and our regulatory focus includes assurance from site licensees that they are applying the public health measures introduced to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), where appropriate.

We expect the UK’s nuclear industry to continue to make responsible and conservative decisions as it responds to the challenges of the pandemic, and we are working closely with the industry to ensure that social distancing is being properly followed, in line with public health guidance.

We remain in regular contact with licensed sites and dutyholders to gain assurance, as necessary. Should we identify instances where sites are failing to apply the relevant public health guidance, we will consider taking action in line with our Enforcement Policy Statement.

ONR ways of working during COVID-19

ONR staff continue to work at home, primarily. A number of our inspectors can travel to site as key workers – and have already – to conduct urgent and essential regulatory business, in accordance with public health measures.

We have considered our priorities, deferred non-critical activities, and are carrying out as much of our work as possible via videoconference, phone and email.