Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Government Technical Advisor role

Date released
19 May 2016
Request number
Release of information under
Freedom of Information Act 2000

Information requested

I would be very interested to see the justification for the removal of the Government Technical Advisor role which is cited as the reason for updating the document 'ONR Response to a Class 1 Event - Off-site Nuclear Emergency'. This was a role that was considered vital for many years after learning from the TMI accident.

Can anyone provide a summary of the internal justification? Do I need to submit a FOI request to get the information?

Information released

  1. The Government Technical Adviser was a DECC appointee, fulfilled by a senior inspector from ONR, to provide advice to the Strategic Coordination Centre (SCC) in the event of the occurrence of a nuclear emergency at a civil nuclear site.  The removal of the role reflects changes in the mechanisms for the provision of scientific advice at both the local and the national level, as set out in the suite of Nuclear Emergency Planning and Response Guidance documents published in October 2015 (see paras 35 - 39 of Concept of Operations; section 5.5 of Part 2 - Response; & paras 3.8 - 3.11 & 3.36 - 3.38 of Part 3 - Recovery, within the attached documents).
  2. There has been no significant change to ONR's response role following the withdrawal of the GTA role: in a nuclear emergency we would deploy teams of inspectors, each led by a senior inspector, to support and advise the local and national response.  These teams would be supported by the mobilisation of the ONR Incident Suite.


Exemptions applied


PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable