Office for Nuclear Regulation

ONR hosts WENRA meeting with international nuclear regulators

11 November, 2022

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) this week hosted the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA) Autumn 2022 Plenary, part of its continued commitment to international collaboration, influencing harmonisation and enhancing nuclear safety performance.

Mark Foy, ONR’s Chief Executive and Chief Nuclear Inspector – and WENRA Vice Chair – attended the meeting on Wednesday and Thursday in Liverpool.

Mark was accompanied by Jane Bowie, ONR’s Director of Regulation for New Reactors.

Key topics discussed at the meeting included progress of work that will ensure the continued currency of Safety Reference Levels (SRLs), regulatory expectations for Small Modular Reactors and the conflict in Ukraine and risks to civil nuclear facilities. Plus, maintaining stakeholder focus on nuclear safety in the emerging energy crisis, updates on the implementation of the WENRA strategy and the organisation’s working groups.

Mark said: “I was delighted that we were able to host the successful two-day WENRA meeting in Liverpool. It provided an excellent opportunity to continue to build our relationships with senior representatives of fellow national regulator bodies from across Europe and beyond.

“Our participation in this influential international organisation is a key priority for ONR and the UK to ensure that we both comply with and support the development of the SRLs, which are recognised internationally as the benchmark for nuclear safety that should be adopted within national nuclear regulatory frameworks.

“Contributing to the work of WENRA is essential as the SRLs are a key driver for the harmonisation of national safety approaches between countries, enhancing nuclear safety and influencing continuous improvement, which is strongly aligned to our strategic priorities set out in our Strategic Framework for International Engagement.”

WENRA is an independent association of predominantly European national nuclear regulators.

Its established network of senior regulators gives unique access to their extensive experience in nuclear safety.

Ongoing development of the SRLs and harmonisation of safety approaches between countries are overseen by WENRA’s Reactor Harmonisation Working Group and the Working Group on Waste and Decommissioning – ONR is an active member of both these groups.

The meeting was attended by about 50 delegates which included representatives from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the USA.