ONR's strategy for regulating Sellafield
ONR introduced a new and innovative regulatory strategy to help drive improvements at Sellafield, aiming to facilitate and encourage hazard and risk remediation whilst maintaining adequate safety standards.
Whilst ultimate responsibility for hazard and risk reduction rests with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Sellafield Ltd, ONR's strategy seeks to identify a number of key barriers to successful delivery of hazard and risk reduction, and the regulatory activities that we intend to take to help tackle them.
The strategy identifies three key outcomes, against which we will measure our success:
- Accelerated hazard and risk reduction across the Sellafield site;
- Evidence-based confidence that the licensee is complying with its statutory obligations and that workers and the public are protected from the hazards of the site;
- Stakeholder confidence that ONR's regulatory approach is appropriately targeted, risk-based, proportionate and effective.
These outcomes are supported by eight improvement themes:
- Effective prioritisation – agreed prioritised work list for ONR, NDA and Sellafield Ltd that will help focus attention
- Effective use of resources – to ensure regulatory and licensee activity is taken forward effectively and efficiently
- Removal of blockers/barriers – removing unnecessary bureaucracy to allow work to proceed at pace
- Avoidance of distraction and diversions – removing unnecessary demands on the licensee, diverting attention away from the overriding priorities
- Incentivisation – examining the factors that either incentivise or disincentivise work on site and take steps to change these where possible or appropriate
- Fit-for-purpose solutions – ensuring that all work is fit for purpose, not over complex and achieves maximum value in terms of delivery, reliability, operability and hazard and risk reduction generally
- Balance of risk – ensuring a balanced and proportionate regulatory approach, recognising that there may be a temporary increase in risk in some facilities in order to reduce long term risk and hazard
- Communications – coordinated and systematic approach to communications and stakeholder management activities, to ensure consistency of messages and ensure a 'no surprises' culture.
Six organisations - One goal
Recognising that there are several stakeholders with an interest in accelerating hazard and risk reduction on the site, a new working group has been established. The group, informally known as the 'G6', will facilitate a coordinated approach to complex issues, where input may be required from a broad range of decision makers. The group incorporates six key organisations: BEIS, NDA, Sellafield Limited, Environment Agency, UK Government Investments (UKGI) and ONR. All members work through a constructive approach towards the common objective of facilitating hazard reduction, for example by enhancing opportunities or removing barriers to progress.