Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Drug and alcohol tests for staff working at nuclear power stations

Date released
26 April 2016
Request number
Release of information under
Freedom of Information Act 2000

Information requested

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please can you provide me with:

Records of all failures of drug and alcohol tests for staff working at (or near to but concerning) nuclear power stations or with nuclear power. Please provide the year, name of location where staff worked or were working, and what substance they tested positive for. If possible please provide context of the number of tests that taken place annually, if known.

Please send me any data requested in the form of an Excel spreadsheet or as a csv file.

If you are able to supply some of this information more quickly than other items, please supply each item when you can rather than delay everything until it is all available.

If there are any clarifications requested or exemptions cited for certain parts of the request, please provide responses for others in the meantime, as advised by the Information Commissioner.

Information released

Records of positive drug and alcohol results, required to be notified to ONR for national security vetting holders, have been retained in a readily retrievable system since March 2015. Since this date our records show the following duty-holders reported into the ONR the following positive results:

ONR is unable to disclose the substance reported by each site as this may result in the substance being attributable to an individual. This would not be fair or lawful under the Data Protection Act, and it constitutes sensitive personal data. We have withheld this attribution under section 40(2) of the Freedom of information Act.

However we can advise the substances notified to us were:

For the purpose of responding to your question, ONR has also included contractors in the definition of staff. There is no requirement for ONR to be notified of the number of tests that take place annually throughout the regulated civil nuclear sector.

ONR does not hold records of positive alcohol and drug tests through a readily- retrievable system for notifications received prior to March 2015. In order to assess such reports, we estimate that thousands of vetting records would need to be individually accessed and reviewed for their content, which would significantly exceed the cost limit of 24 staff hours to process this work.

Exemptions applied


PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable