Office for Nuclear Regulation

COVID-19: ONR Position

16 September, 2021

We are continuing to obtain assurance that nuclear site licensees and other dutyholders are adequately resourced to continue to safely and securely carry out their activities.

We remain satisfied with industry’s response at this time; 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.

ONR ways of working during COVID-19

Although ONR staff have been primarily working at home, (carrying out as much of our work as possible via videoconference, phone and email), we have started to gradually increase capacity in all three of our offices, in line with government advice.

We continue to assess our on-site presence in line with government guidelines and our business needs, ensuring we have a balanced portfolio of on-site inspections and interventions, that are important to support effective regulation across our purposes. We continue to hold virtual meetings wherever we sensibly can, and be aware of dutyholders’ site attendance policies for their own staff when making our own decisions to attend site. This is to ensure we balance protecting staff safety and wellbeing, and that of our dutyholders and surrounding site communities, with maintaining an effective regulatory footprint and gaining suitable assurance on the continued safety and security of the sites we regulate.

As we have done since the start of the pandemic, we’ll continue to adjust our arrangements as necessary to keep our staff safe and ensure organisational resilience.