The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has published its Annual Report and Accounts covering 2022/23.
It shows how the UK regulator delivered its mission to protect society by securing safe nuclear operations and made progress towards the five ambitions it set out in its Corporate Plan for 2022/23.
The report provides a summary of regulatory, organisational and financial performance, as well as governance information. It explains how ONR regulated effectively across its purposes and the nuclear lifecycle.
Organisational achievements include:
- completion of Step 1 of the Generic Design Assessment of the Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor design
- developing the UK’s first ever nuclear regulatory sandbox to safely consider a range of topics including artificial intelligence and blockchain technology
- launch of the inaugural Annual Review of Regulation, to promote dialogue across our purposes and with industry, seeking feedback and intelligence
- positive progress in an ongoing modernisation programme with the launch and embedding of the Well-Informed Regulatory Decisions platform
- publication of ONR’s Openness and Transparency policy, formalising a commitment to open engagement
- stakeholder survey feedback that ONR continues to be viewed as a ‘professional, trusted and independent’ organisation
Mark McAllister, ONR’s Chair, said: “We are confident that we remain an effective regulator and organisation, highlighted by our influence nationally and internationally, and the insights provided by external feedback and benchmarking.
“Notably, the findings from the Post Implementation Review confirmed that we are effectively delivering our regulatory purposes. It also highlighted that we are well regarded for our modern, enabling regulatory approach, and respected for our technical ability and regulatory performance – domestically and internationally.
“Throughout the current financial year, we are looking more intently to efficiencies in our systems, practices and processes, together with underpinning work on our culture and values, to ensure tangible outcomes are delivered in these areas.”
Mark Foy, ONR’s Chief Executive and Chief Nuclear Inspector, said: “During the reporting period the overall performance of the industry remained good, and we welcome the compliance, standards, and progress in many areas. However, as outlined in my Chief Nuclear Inspector’s Annual Report published in September, there are some shortfalls that require enhanced effort and strategic oversight across the industry.
“In the coming year, we will remain focused on understanding the increased number of significant nuclear site health and safety incidents, including the recent work-related fatalities, and identifying how future incidents can be prevented.
“We will also look more intently to delivering efficiencies whilst maintaining our effectiveness, together with underpinning work on our culture and values, and ensure tangible outcomes are delivered in these areas.”