Office for Nuclear Regulation

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ANTs

Date released
15 April 2020
Request number
202002068
Release of information under
Freedom of Information Act 2000

Information requested

Information released

I confirm that under section 1 of the FOIA, we hold the information related to your request. We have identified information in 37 documents of which 23 we are releasing with redactions, 14 have been withheld entirely. Please find further details below.

Absolute Exemptions

Some information has been withheld because it contains personal data (particularly names of participants of meetings). The personal data has been withheld using the exemption section 40(2) (Personal information) of the FOIA.

This exemption allows public authorities to protect personal information. Release of the information would breach principle (a) of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (lawfulness, fairness and transparency) on the grounds that there is no lawful basis to process this data.

In addition, releasing this personal data would also breach principle (b) of GDPR (purpose limitation) as the data was provided solely for a record of attending the meeting.

Some information has been withheld because it was provided to ONR in confidence and its disclosure would constitute an actionable breach of confidence. The information has been withheld using the exemption section 41 (Information provided in confidence) of the FOIA.
The disclosure of this information would adversely affect the confidentiality of commercial information where such confidentiality is provided by law to protect legitimate economic interests. We therefore consider that disclosure would be an unauthorised use of the information to the detriment of the information owners and would be an actionable breach of confidence.

These are both absolute exemptions so do not require a Public Interest Test. Please refer to the Information Commissioner’s Office website for full details.

Qualified Exemptions - Public Interest Test:

Some information has been withheld because it contains details which if released would negatively impact international relations (S27) and commercial interests (S43). As these are qualified exemptions, we are required to balance the public interest between disclosure and non-disclosure. We have therefore applied the Public Interest Test, as set out below:

Factors for release (Sections 27and 43):

Factors against release: Section 27(1) – International relations

Section 27(1) of the FOIA provides for information to be exempt if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice relations between the UK and any other state, relations between the UK and any other international organisation or international court, the interests of the UK abroad, or the promotion or protection by the UK of its interests abroad.

Conclusion:

Across the world, several states and organisations of states continue to be engaged with research and development of ANTs. Most ANTs are still in various stages of development, with some near-term deployable but many still in early stages. Some of the information held by ONR was provided in confidence and is proprietary of other states or organisations.
After careful consideration of the factors set out above, ONR has concluded that the public interest test favours withholding the release of the information under the FOIA. Prejudice to international relations arising from disclosure is outweighed by the public interest in contributing to public knowledge and understanding of the ONR’s discussions in relation to ANTs.

Factors against release: Section 43 – Commercial Interests

Section 43(1) of the FOIA provides for information relating to trade secrets to be exempt from disclosure.

interests of any person (an individual, a company, the public authority itself or any other legal entity).

Conclusion:

After careful consideration of the factors set out above, ONR has concluded that the public interest favours withholding the information under section 43(1) and (2). Disclosure would prejudice the commercial interests primarily of organisations that have been involved in the discussions covered by the information in question. This outweighs the public interest in the release of this information.

Overall conclusion:

After careful consideration of the factors set out above, ONR has concluded that the information in the 23 documents listed in Annex A should be disclosed. Annex A sets out the titles of these documents and the exemptions applied to any redactions. Annex B gives the titles of the 14 documents we are withholding in their entirety.

Further information: In addition to the package of information, we would like to remind you of our offer of a teleconference with the ANT team on a date convenient to you to allow you to discuss further the work we are doing on ANTs and ask our team any additional questions you may have. Please let me know if this is of interest to you.

Annex A

Exemptions applied Title
S40 Minutes from Advanced Nuclear Technologies Extraordinary Regulatory Review Meeting (15th March 2019)
S27, S40, S41, S43 Minutes from Advanced Nuclear Technologies Regulatory Review Meeting and Sub-Division Board (15th May 2019)
S40, S43 Minutes from Advanced Nuclear Technologies Regulatory Review Meeting and Sub-Division Board (19th November 2019)
S40, S43 ONR-NR-CR-18-784 - AMR - Phase 1 Competition - U-Battery
S40 ONR-NR-CR-18-779 - Stage 3 SMR Mature Technology Industry Engagement - GE Hitachi
S40, S43 ONR-NR-CR-18-781 - AMR LeadCold Vendor Engagement
S40, S43 ONR-NR-CR-18-782 - AMR Moltex Vendor Engagement
S27, S40, S43 ONR-NR-CR-18-783 - AMR - Phase 1 Competition - DBD
S40, S43 ONR-NR-CR-18-785 - AMR - Phase 1 Competition - Westinghouse Vendor Engagement Meeting
S40 ONR-NR-CR-18-786 - AMR - Phase 1 Competition - ARC
S40 ONR-NR-CR-18-787 - AMR - Phase 1 Competition - USNC
S40, S43 ONR-NR-CR-19-02 - Stage 3 SMR Mature Technology Industry Engagement - EDF
S40 ONR-NR-CR-19-009 - International SMR & Advanced Reactor Summit 2019

S27, S40, S43

ONR-NR-CR-19-047 - Structural Robustness Workshop and Bilateral Exchange with the CNSC in Ottawa, Canada
S40, S43 ONR-NR-CR-19-099 - SMR Vendor Engagement Meeting - Rolls Royce
S40, S43 ONR-NR-CR-19-105 - Stage 2 SMR Mature Technology Industry Engagement
S40 ONR-NR-CR-19-254 - Stage 2 SMR Mature Technology Industry Engagement – Rolls Royce
S27, S40, S43 ONR-NR-CR-19-270- ONR/NRC - Regulatory Guidance 1.232 - Design Criteria for Non-light water reactors
S40, S43 ONR-NR-CR-19-328 - Fast Reactor Knowledge Capture Update with NNL
S40 ONR-NR-CR-19-388 - Telephone conference with EA as part of the ANT NLR research strand regarding engagement with RWM on disposability of wastes
S40, S43 ONR-NR-CR-19-411 - Environment Agency Advanced Nuclear Technologies Knowledge Capture
S40, S43 ONR-NR-CR-19-427 - NIRO EA  ONR meeting
S40, S43 ONR-NR-CR-19-428 - Kick Off Meeting With BEIS – Extended Phase 1 Task 2 – Scope of Regulatory Engagement on Advanced Manufacturing and Modular Construction

Annex B -Witheld Documents in Scope of FOI202002068

Title
ONR-NR-CR-18-827 - SMR Regulators Forum - Combined Steering Committee and Working Groups Meeting
ONR-NR-CR-19-018 - CNSC Technical Seminar on Molten Salt Chemistry Characterisation
ONR-NR-CR-19-023 - 3rd Meeting of the Nuclear Energy Agency’s (NEA) Working Group on the Safety of Advanced Reactors (WGSAR)
ONR-NR-CR-19-079 - BEIS CCF Workshop
ONR-NR-CR-19-147 - 1st IAEA Consultancy Meeting on SMR Licensing
ONR-NR-CR-19-225 - Consultancy Meeting on the Application of a Logical Framework to Develop Regulatory Safety Requirements for SMRs
ONR-NR-CR-19-275 - IAEA Technical Meeting on Structural Materials for Heavy Liquid Metal Cooled Fast Reactors
ONR-NR-CR-19-277- 4th Meeting of the Nuclear Energy Agency’s (NEA) Working Group on the Safety of Advanced Reactors (WGSAR)
ONR-NR-CR-19-321 - Policy Briefing on SMRs organised by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), as part of NEA Steering Committee
ONR-NR-CR-19-348 - SMR Regulators Forum - Combined Steering Committee and Working Group Meeting
ONR-NR-CR-19-357 - IAEA SMR Safety Analysis Technical Meeting
ONR-NR-CR-19-376 – IAEA Workshop on Regulatory Framework and Licensing for SMR Deployment
ONR-NR-CR-19-389 - USNRC Workshop on Non-Light Water Reactor Advanced Materials
ONR-NR-CR-19-412 - Second Meeting of the WENRA RHWG Working Group on Small Modular Reactors (WGSMR)

Exemptions applied

Section 1, 27, 40(2), 41and 43

PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable

N/A