The UK Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has published its Strategy 2020-25 setting out its direction and priorities for the next five years.
“It builds on our strengths and continues to focus on protecting society, addressing the changing demands we will face as the UK’s nuclear regulator,” ONR said.
ONR also published its Corporate Plan detailing priorities and objectives for the year ahead including recovery post-COVID-19.
“A key role of the ONR Board, and a specific personal responsibility of mine, is to set the strategic direction for the organisation to ensure the efficient and effective regulation of the nuclear industry,” said ONR’s chair, Mark McAllister. “But we don’t do this in isolation. Developing our new Strategy has been a real collaborative effort. I believe this final document shows our clear intent to deliver duty-holder interventions that will be even more strategic, risk-based, and informed by expertise than before.”
“We’re also committed to extending our influence across sectors and borders, seeking feedback about our impact. We want to be an exemplar of transparency and openness retaining public trust and confidence – we already listen and act on your feedback but we will go further in our engagement with stakeholders. We also want to ensure the nuclear industry, government and the public consider us value for money.”
ONR said it had updated its mission to more sharply focus on its core purpose. It is now “to protect society by securing safe nuclear operations”. ONR’s vision for the next five years “is to be a modern, transparent regulator delivering trusted outcomes and value. This is appropriate for a six year old organisation, that is not changing direction, but rather maturing and adjusting to our changing environment”.
Although, the final strategy “has not changed significantly from the version on which we consulted, feedback … helped us bring greater focus on the following elements:
- Recognition and consideration of the level of change happening in the nuclear sector;
- Our organisational commitment to the environment and net zero carbon targets;
- A clearer statement of our regulatory enforcement powers; and
- Demonstrating an appreciation of the range of stakeholders we engage with at local and national level.
ONR’s Strategy document said: “Our primary objective is to influence the safe operation of current and future nuclear sites in Great Britain and of packages in transport, as well as to account for and control nuclear materials. We will do so to high legal standards, using the full range of our enforcement powers. This will involve significant work across all elements of the nuclear lifecycle, from design assessment, through to new reactors, operating facilities, defueling, waste management and decommissioning.”
The Corporate Plan 2020/21, is in line with the Strategy 2020-2025 “introducing our new mission, vision, values and strategic themes.”
ONR said: “Fundamentally, we are here to protect society by securing safe nuclear operations, and will continue to do so in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).” While ONR’s role remains critical during the pandemic “and while what we do remains constant, how we operate is already changing”. ONR said its plan “reflects a pared back approach to organisational development and change projects, ensuring that our staff have the capacity and support to focus on delivering regulation first and foremost”.
ONR lists five main priorities:
- Maintain delivery of our core regulatory functions, holding dutyholders to account on behalf of the public. This will include targeted regulatory oversight of progress at ‘Enhanced Attention’ sites and assurance on safety and security in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Deliver an effective UK State System of Accountancy for, and Control of, Nuclear Material and implementation of Security Assessment Principles across all dutyholders.
- Enhance transparency through our stakeholder engagement, in line with the aspirations of our Strategy 2020-2025, to enable effective two-way communications, particularly as we respond to COVID-19.
- Promote the sustained health and wellbeing of our staff through effective and inclusive leadership and management, as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Deliver our two strategic change projects – separating our IT infrastructure from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and commencing a pilot of our Well Informed Regulatory Decisionsproject.
ONR concluded that, by March 2021, “we will have made good progress to delivering our operational responsibilities and our 2025 strategic intent”.