Office for Nuclear Regulation

Establishing a domestic safeguards regime

23 July, 2018

We’ve made considerable progress in setting up a UK State System of Accountancy and Control (SSAC), which will provide a domestic safeguards regime after the UK exits Euratom: it’s one of our top ten priorities in our 2018/19 Corporate Plan.

The Nuclear Safeguards Bill, the legislation which will give us the legal powers to set up a domestic safeguards regime, received Royal Assent in June and is now enshrined in law as the Nuclear Safeguards Act. The government has now begun its consultation on the regulations that will underpin this legislation, and is seeking views on the operability and effectiveness of the regulations.  The consultation is open to 14 September 2018 – do respond as early as possible, to ensure your voice is heard.

We have signed the contract for delivery of the IT system for UK Nuclear Safeguards Information and Management Reporting System, a vital part of the SSAC. After a robust and transparent tendering process, the contract was given to Axis 12, partnered with NAC international, an experienced US company specialising in the development and operation of nuclear material control and accounting systems.

We have now recruited the right level of safeguards inspectors to meet international obligations by March 2019 and have strengthened our project team capability – we will, of course, continue to identify capacity needs and recruit accordingly. With huge support from our in-house training Academy, as well as our existing nuclear safety and security inspectors, we are working hard towards ensuring the new team receive full enforcement warrants – and we expect them to be in place to meet international obligations when the UK leaves Euratom.

Dr Mina Golshan, the UK SSAC project Senior Responsible Officer, and Paul Dicks, Project Lead, gave oral evidence to the House of Lords EU Energy & Environment sub-committee earlier this month on ONR’s preparedness for Brexit. You can watch the session or read the uncorrected transcript on the Parliament website. You can also read the Committee Chair’s letter to Richard Harrington, Minister for Business and Industry, commenting on the assurance that ONR provided.

We will keep you updated on developments on our website, social media and this newsletter.