The Government intend to bring forward legislation to create a new independent statutory body outside of the HSE to regulate the nuclear power industry. The new statutory corporation would be known as the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and would take on the relevant functions currently carried out by the Health and Safety Executive and the Department for Transport.
The ONR would be a new independent regulator, formally responsible in law for delivering its regulatory functions. The creation of the ONR would consolidate civil nuclear and radioactive transport safety and security regulation in one place.
The proposal will not affect the current regulatory requirements or standards with which industry must comply, and the vast majority of the costs of the regulator would continue to be recovered in charges from operators in the nuclear industry rather than funded by the public purse. Additional organisational costs will be entirely met by the nuclear industry.
Pending the legislation, the Health and Safety Executive is taking steps to establish the ONR as a non-statutory body from 1 April 2011, signalling our commitment to securing an appropriately resourced and responsive regulator for the future challenges of the nuclear sector. The Government will review the functions and processes of the interim body in order to inform its planned legislation.