Recent media articles have suggested that ONR is not sufficiently resourced to meet current industry demands for effective regulation. That is not the case.
We are recruiting at the moment and that is because our workforce reflects the demands of industry, so we have to continually look at future staffing needs alongside those organisations we regulate.
Our current technical team is fully staffed, with 362 highly skilled and dedicated staff. Like all organisations, we experience some turnover, which is healthy for any organisation.
Given the increasing work of the nuclear industry, ONR also needs to grow, so we will be constantly recruiting over the next few years. This is entirely as expected, and we will regularly review, and amend our plans, to make sure we have what we need, when we need it. Our current vacancies demonstrate that we are responsibly planning for this growing need.
ONR has a full-time, but temporary Chief Nuclear Inspector, Dr Richard Savage, following the early retirement of his predecessor for personal reasons. As a transparent employer, we advertise all permanent roles, and so are doing so now, alongside the planned end of a secondment of our Director of Finance, which again, we are openly advertising to attract the very best candidates.
From April 2016 we will publish our planned and actual inspector workforce on a quarterly basis to provide absolute clarity on this situation. We hope this will alleviate any unnecessary concerns about our capacity to undertake our important regulatory role.