Office for Nuclear Regulation

Our People – Sam Nouraei, Sizewell site inspector and Hinkley Point C project inspector

2 August, 2022

Today, we learn more about Sam Nouraei, who has been working across the EPR sub-division and is the site inspector for Sizewell.

Sam joined ONR in September 2013 as a Structural Integrity Inspector. Before that she was a Materials and Corrosion specialist supporting the UK naval propulsion programme.

Sam completed her PhD and Undergraduate studies at Newcastle University, in chemical and process engineering.

As the site inspector for Sizewell C, Sam has been working on the assessment of the nuclear site licence application, submitted by NNB GenCo (SZC) Ltd to construct and operate two EPR reactors at its proposed development site in Suffolk, adjacent to the existing Sizewell B (SZB) station.

Sam’s work has been focused on overseeing the Sizewell C project plans from a regulator’s perspective, studying whether the proposed power station has the required capability to operate.

Earlier this month, ONR’s licence assessment for the proposed nuclear power station at Sizewell C concluded that the application has met almost all the regulatory requirements set out in regulatory guidance.

There are two outstanding matters which require resolution prior to the formal granting of a licence.

She liaises closely with colleagues at the adjacent operational Sizewell B power plant, to ensure consistent regulatory approach, given that any work on Sizewell C could impact Sizewell B.

Before joining the EPR sub-division, Sam worked in ONR’s Operating Facilities division and was involved in the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR), which concluded in December 2017 and the assessment of the licence application of for Horizon Nuclear Power Ltd.

Sam, 41, travels to site for her job, covering both Sizewell C in Suffolk and Hinkley Point C in Somerset, from her home in Manchester.

She said: “The best part of ONR is its people.

“I find my colleagues are always professional and committed to the organisation.

“Being an ONR inspector can sometimes be a challenging job, delivering difficult but necessary messages and so it’s reassuring to have colleagues on hand to help and support that.

“We’re not paid to make easy decisions, the recommendations and decisions we make have significant implications for dutyholders and the industry.

“But the relationship between us the regulator and dutyholders is always open, transparent and respectful – friendly but not friends.”

Hinkley Point C

Sam, who grew up in Newcastle, now lives in the northwest of England.

She has a six-year-old son and a Labrador called Flinn, and loves to go to the theatre, as long as it’s not an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical!

Sam is an amateur gardener and has fully embraced the allotment life, her biggest achievement to date has been growing leeks, resembling spring onions.

Sam is still regularly in touch with the same group of friends she went to school with and is mainly exploring the northeast beaches with family and friends whenever she can.

“I love my job – I think we hold a very important role.”