Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Cross ONR Programme

The Cross ONR Programme is responsible for taking forward strategic cross-cutting operational themes, such as Emergency Preparedness and Response, Regulatory Intelligence, Safeguards, Radiological Protection, Fire and Conventional Safety and regulating safety during the Transport of Radioactive Material by road and rail in Great Britain and advising on its transport by air and sea within UK territorial waters.

The cross-cutting nature of the work also means that the Programme is responsible for several specific projects, e.g. Supply Chain Improvements and establishment of a Chief Nuclear Inspectors Advisory Panel.

All of the Programme activities are essential to ONR's core operational work, a short description of the work undertaken is listed below, together with links to further information where this is available.

Radioactive Materials Transport

The Radioactive Materials Transport team is responsible for regulating safety during the transport of radioactive material by road and rail in Great Britain, and advises on its transport by air and sea within UK territorial waters.

Emergency Preparedness & Response (EP&R)

  • Providing the technical standards, processes and strategic direction relating to ONR's internal emergency response capability, and the planning and assessment of on and off-site exercises.
  • Providing the focal point for dialogue with, and technical support to Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on EP&R matters and the hub for the determination of the extent of Emergency Planning areas for civil nuclear sites.

Regulatory Intelligence

Providing a corporate services to operational teams by gathering, analysing and disseminating intelligence to help inform our intervention strategies and influence licensee operations.

Conventional and Fire Safety

The Fire Safety Team deliver ONR's statutory obligation to enforce fire safety (life safety) on nuclear licensed sites by virtue of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the Fire Scotland Act 2005, as amended by the Energy Act 2013, thereby holding the industry to account on behalf of the public. This responsibility is independent of nuclear safety requirements or Site Licence Conditions, and is cross-cutting across all ONR Programmes, including Generic Design Assessment, licensing and nuclear new build.

The Fire Team are a qualified and experienced ONR resource for a range of regulatory activities including:

  • the approval of building design;
  • the assessment of conventional fire safety cases; and
  • expert assessment of fire incident investigations.

The Team also advise ONR inspectors on:

  • process fire precautions;
  • site demonstrated exercises; and
  • emergency response capability.

The Conventional Health and Safety Team utilises a modern enabling approach to the regulation of conventional (non-nuclear) health and safety at licensed nuclear sites. This is achieved by:

  • ensuring the industry has robust health and safety management systems in place;
  • is complying with relevant statutory provisions; and
  • where dutyholders are non-compliant with the law, taking proportionate action where appropriate to secure compliance within a reasonable timescale.

The Team undertake proactive and reactive regulatory work across the nuclear industry via:

  • strategic nuclear site topic interventions of national health and safety priorities to secure continuous improvements to reduce injuries, ill-health, and dangerous occurrences;
  • the investigation of site accidents, ill-health and dangerous occurrences reported to ONR under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013, and workplace concerns.

The Team also contributes specialist advice to the ONR Generic Design Assessment, licensing and nuclear new build programme.

Team inspectors pursue and encourage the adoption of clear, consistent and appropriate performance indicators for conventional health and safety across the nuclear industry, encouraging use of these metrics to target specific and industry-wide improvements; and use of more effective internal assurance processes for conventional health and safety.

The Team co-operates very closely with, HSE, managing the essential operational delivery relationships with our sister regulator, on behalf of ONR for:

  • nuclear new build and other significant construction projects; and
  • the discharge of ONR's COMAH Competent Authority statutory duties.

As the lead GB regulator for health and safety, HSE retains regulatory policy responsibility for conventional health and safety.

Radiological Protection

Ensuring that workers and members of the public are adequately protected from ionising radiation generated on nuclear licensed sites. Our radiological protection specialists assess licensees' safety cases to ensure that plant is designed, constructed, operated, maintained and decommissioned in such a way that exposure to ionising radiation is kept as low as reasonably achievable.


Nuclear safeguards are measures to verify that countries comply with their international obligations not to use nuclear materials from their civil nuclear programmes to manufacture nuclear weapons.

ONR works with international inspectorates to ensure that safeguards obligations for the UK are met.

Security Informed Nuclear Safety

The Security Informed Nuclear Safety (SINS) sub-programme provides technical and safety support together with an assessment function to ONR Civil Nuclear Security (CNS) Programme, thus allowing appropriate security regulatory judgements to be made.  The work also includes providing technical information to other government departments relating to areas of nuclear Safety and Security interactions.

Operational Special Projects

The Operational Special Projects (OSP) 'sub-programme' comprises a number of independent Cross-ONR special projects; including amongst others, delivery of the Chief Nuclear Inspectors Advisory Panel, an Asset Care & Maintenance strategy, the Aircraft Crash Technical Advisory Panel, the Supply Chain Improvement project, Leadership and Management for Safety Workshops and a study on the Economic Effects of Regulation.