The UK Government announced February 8 that it plans to create a new independent statutory body, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), to regulate the nuclear industry. The new statutory corporation will take over relevant functions currently carried out by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (part of the Health and Safety Executive) and the Department for Transport.

The ONR will be a new independent regulator, with legal responsibility for delivering regulatory functions. Government says that the creation of the ONR will consolidate civil nuclear and radioactive transport safety and security regulation in one place. The Environment Agency will retain responsibility for environmental regulation.

Pending the legislation, the Health and Safety Executive is taking steps to establish the ONR as a non-statutory body from 1 April 2011.

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