Office for Nuclear Regulation

Climate change guidance updated

29 July, 2022

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) works closely with the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to ensure nuclear sites remain safe from hazards and the effects of climate change.

Working together, we have published updates to the following joint guidance documents:

The updates to the documents provide further guidance on climate change resilience and adaptation in the context of recent climate change projections.

The ‘Use of UKCP18 Position Statement’ describes the regulators’ expectations with regards to the UK Climate Projections 2018 (UKCP18), and their application by dutyholders for nuclear installations when undertaking climate change assessments in support of their activities.

The revised joint ONR and Environment Agency ‘Principles for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management’ guidance document has updated advice for regulators on how flood and coastal erosion risk issues are considered when reviewing proposals for nuclear new build developments in England. It has also been aligned with the regulatory guidance in the ‘Use of UKCP18 Position Statement’.

ONR’s Civil Engineering & External Hazards Lead Inspector, Andria Gilmour, said: “It is essential that all nuclear licensed sites remain safe against the effects of climate change, including risks from flooding and increased air temperature.

“To ensure that sites remain safe, ONR expects licensees to design against the reasonably foreseeable effects of climate change over the lifetime of their facility or facilities.

“This includes periodically reviewing new data and advances in climate science, to determine if further measures are needed to ensure that sites remain protected in the future.

“We have worked with the relevant environment agencies to ensure our guidance remains up-to-date and reflects relevant good practice. Our inspectors will apply this updated guidance when undertaking regulatory activities.”