Office for Nuclear Regulation

Start of IRRS follow-up mission

23 January, 2024

International nuclear experts are today starting a seven-day follow-up mission to the UK to evaluate the country’s regulatory infrastructure against required global safety standards.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) will review progress from a full scope mission in 2019 when assessments of the UK’s nuclear and radiological safety standards were carried out.

That was the UK’s first full scope mission and the findings were published on GOV.UK which included 24 ‘recommendations’ and 19 ‘suggestions’, alongside two ‘good practices’.

Of these, seven recommendations, five suggestions and one good practice related, directly or indirectly, to the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

IRRS Missions help member states strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of their regulatory infrastructure for nuclear, radiation, radioactive waste and transport safety.

The UK’s follow-up mission response, covering 15 regulatory bodies and several government departments, is being coordinated by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, and is being held in ONR’s Bootle office in Merseyside.

ONR’s response is being coordinated by a team led by Alistair Hillery, Head of Regulatory Intelligence and Oversight. He said: “Since the 2019 IRRS mission report was published, we’ve been working  to address the recommendations and suggestions relating to our organisation.

“Missions are important as they are the only independent review of member states’ regulatory infrastructure for radiological safety.

“International peer reviews like the IRRS missions help to improve transparency and enhance public confidence.

“We look forward to working with the expert team to support our mutual desire to enhance nuclear and radiological safety in the UK and abroad.”

The follow-up mission lasts until Monday 29 January and the IAEA is expected to publish a concluding report later this year.