Office for Nuclear Regulation

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New UK nuclear industry regulator launched

Nick Baldwin

Nick Baldwin appointed as interim Chair

1 April 2011

The interim Chair of the new Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) was today confirmed as Nick Baldwin, former chief executive of Powergen.

ONR has been established today as an agency of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), pending planned legislation to establish it as a statutory body. The ONR will bring together the relevant nuclear regulatory functions of HSE (through its Nuclear Directorate) and the Department for Transport.

The organisation will ensure that those authorised to carry out nuclear activities, in both the civil and defence sectors, do so in a safe way from power stations and radioactive waste to transport of materials and submarines. ONR staff will also regulate the security of civilian nuclear installations.

Announcing the appointment of Nick Baldwin as ONR interim Chair, the HSE Chair Judith Hackitt said:

"Nick Baldwin has extensive board level experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors with substantial experience in governance, leadership, general management and strategic development. He has the skills and experience to lead ONR as it is established in its new form at this critical time. The safety of nuclear power is more in peoples thoughts now than it has been at any time for the last 25 years ONR has an important job to do in ensuring that operators in the UK uphold the highest standards of safety."

Nick Baldwin said:

"Im very pleased to join the Office for Nuclear Regulation as it starts its journey to become a new independent regulator. I look forward to working with Mike Weightman, Her Majestys Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations, to create an organisation that delivers our mission of protecting people and society from the hazards of the nuclear industry."

Mike Weightman said:

"The Office for Nuclear Regulation inherits an international reputation for excellence and a robust regulatory framework forged over more than 50 years, providing firm foundations from which to rise to the current and future challenges of the nuclear industry. Nick Baldwin and I will work together to build on that legacy. We aim to be world-leading, forward-thinking, and more open and transparent."

Employment Minister Chris Grayling announced on 8 February that ONR would initially be formed as an agency of HSE, pending planned legislation to establish the ONR as a statutory body.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Office for Nuclear Regulation seeks to secure the protection of people and society from the hazards of the nuclear industry by ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and by influencing the nuclear industry to create an excellent health, safety and security culture.
  2. ONR will bring together the safety and security functions of HSE's Nuclear Directorate (incorporating the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, the Office for Civil Nuclear Security and the UK Safeguards Office) and, from summer 2011, the Department for Transports Radioactive Materials Transport Division.
  3. The headquarters of ONR is within the HSE offices in Redgrave Court, Bootle, Merseyside, and it will have satellite offices in Cheltenham and London. About 450 people work for ONR. The vast majority (around 98 per cent) of the cost of the regulator is recovered, by law, in charges to the nuclear industry.
  4. Nick Baldwin is the interim Chair of ONR. He was until July 2002 the chief executive of Powergen, having joined the firm in 1989 and having held a series of board-level and senior management positions. He has been until recently a non-executive director of Scottish and Southern Energy and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. He is the Chair of Sanctuary Housing Group and the Chair of Ambitious About Autism. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and a Member of the Institute of Energy. He is married with two children.
  5. The interim Chair appointment is expected to be for a period of two to three years, pending the successful passage of legislation to establish the ONR on a statutory basis. The role is part-time.
  6. Chris Graylings written ministerial statement of 8 February, announcing the formation of ONR, is available at
  7. The environment agencies role in regulating environmental impacts of nuclear activities are unaffected by this reform. ONR will work alongside the Environment Agency and Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
  8. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to prevent death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  9. ONR news, information and resources can be accessed at