Office for Nuclear Regulation

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COVID-19 (coronavirus) – ONR Position

25 June, 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 in light of the Government’s intended gradual easing of restrictions over the coming weeks.

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 efforts to ensure that social distancing measures are being properly observed at licensed nuclear sites, according to the latest government advice. We remain in regular contact with licensed sites and dutyholders to gain assurance, as necessary.

ONR ways of working during COVID-19

ONR staff continue to work at home, primarily. 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.

We are inspecting, assessing and permissioning remotely so far as is practicable, although we continue to go to site, as key workers, to conduct urgent and essential regulatory business, in accordance with public health measures.