Office for Nuclear Regulation

COVID-19 update

21 May, 2021

While the pandemic has changed the way we all work, worker and public safety has remained our priority throughout. And we remain satisfied with industry’s response and judge that there has been no significant change to dutyholders’ safety and security resilience as a result of COVID-19.

We will continue to adjust our response to the pandemic, working with staff and dutyholders, to maintain focus on those critical and essential activities that enable us to regulate effectively and be assured dutyholder operations are safe.

Our staff are our greatest asset. Their resilience, professionalism and commitment throughout the pandemic has enabled us to respond to the challenges it has brought. And our focus on maintaining their health, safety and wellbeing is unwavering to ensure we continue to fully deliver our mission.

We are progressively increasing our on-site footprint across the nuclear estate, which are now at ‘near normal’ levels, and intend to allow more staff to start to work in our offices, where necessary, from the end of June, if the government roadmap continues to progress as planned.

Over the last six months we’ve also taken additional steps to protect our staff, dutyholders and other stakeholder groups we work with, by requiring our inspectors to return a negative COVID-19 test prior to any face to face engagements. This process will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

And while there have been challenges, the pandemic has also presented an opportunity for us to engage our staff and licensees about future ways of working. That insight and feedback has helped us see how we can bring more flexibility in where and when we work, optimise our regulatory approach and modernise how we manage and develop our people in the future, as well as creating the culture required to fulfil our ambitions.

Learning together and gathering feedback remains central to our approach. So we will continue to engage across the industry, and with other regulators in the UK and internationally, to learn lessons and share best practice from the pandemic response and to support resilience now and for the future.