ONR takes reports of wrongdoing from workers at UK nuclear licenced sites seriously.
Nuclear industry workers (or those otherwise involved in handling/transport of nuclear materials) and the supply chain can report serious wrongdoing, in the public interest – this is known as a ‘ making a protected disclosure’ or ‘whistleblowing’.
We will need as much information as possible to determine if the issues fall within our remit; the level of risk and impact; and evidence of an enforceable breach that would require an intervention. As an evidence-based regulator, and within the legal parameters we operate in, we need adequate supporting information to substantiate any allegations we receive. We cannot solely rely on verbal allegations, especially when these are anonymous reports, even when from multiple individuals.
Providing your contact details will enable us to ask you for more information, if we need to, which may be essential in order to take your disclosure forward. Your identity can still be protected, even if you share your details with us. While we accept completely anonymous disclosures, in most cases it is not possible to progress them without contacting you, as we are unlikely to have enough information to fully understand the facts or take action.
Anonymous disclosures can result in wasted effort, not just by ONR, but also for you as the whistleblower, and it may be more difficult for you to receive any legal protection you may need.
We recommend that whistleblowing reports include contact by phone or face to face meetings in order to verify the information and seek further detail if necessary. While it may be possible to progress a whistleblowing complaint without speaking with the whistleblower, this can result in wasted or duplicate effort in order to fully uncover the detailed facts.
If you make a report, we will:
- treat all disclosures seriously, fully, fairly;
- do all we can to protect your identity, unless you give permission to reveal it;
- provide you with a key point of contact;
- regularly inform you of progress on your case and let you know the outcome of your report at the end of our enquiries. However, we may not always be able to provide details of the action taken.
If you are concerned about malpractice, wrongdoing or a safety risk at work and you are unsure whether to raise this with ONR, you may find it helpful to contact the independent whistleblowing charity Protect for advice. Protect can talk to you about how best to raise your concern, while minimising any risk to you and maximising the opportunity for the problem to be addressed. You can call them on 020 3117 2520 or contact them via their website.
You can find out more about whistleblowing from the Protect website.