In my first six months at ONR, my priority has been to meet as many of our staff and stakeholders as I can. This has helped me enormously in building up a clear picture of the extent of our work. I’m impressed with the dedication, professionalism, passion and commitment to ensure the nuclear industry is safe.
I’ve been to some of the sites we regulate, including Sellafield, Hinkley Point B and C, Rosyth and Barrow, where I’ve heard about the many opportunities and challenges facing the industry, from fostering innovation to managing ageing facilities.
My visits, alongside meeting government and colleagues in other regulatory bodies, have highlighted the importance and scope of the work we do – it’s wide ranging, challenging and most importantly, vital to worker and public safety. It is clear that we have worked hard to develop strong, professional relationships, and I’m looking forward to meeting many more of you over the coming months to understand better the diversity of views and opinions that inform our work.
A key highlight from the last six months for me was our Industry Conference in June. It brought into focus, through discussions and debate, the range of priorities the industry is grappling with, including advanced nuclear technologies, the impact of technological change and driving forward innovation. Supported by perspectives from government and our international counterparts, it was clear that the UK’s goal-setting regulatory regime, coupled with ONR’s enabling regulation approach can facilitate innovation, while maintaining high standards of public safety and security. I know from my own experiences of goal-setting regulation that having an intelligent, mature, and engaged regulator is essential.
Looking ahead, there are both challenges and opportunities for ONR, such as defining our 2025 strategy, delivering our Well Informed Regulatory Decisions (WIReD) project and importantly our key regulatory work, including the UK State System of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Materials and our approach to regulating the UK’s ageing reactors. I’m confident that we have the right leadership, the right people, and the right capability. Together with continued good engagement and a positive ethos, as well as learning from good practice elsewhere, we are in a strong place to deliver our mission, vision and strategic priorities.