Office for Nuclear Regulation

Aims and objectives

What we do

We are the UK’s independent nuclear regulator for safety, security and safeguards. Our mission is to protect society by securing safe nuclear operations.

We deliver five statutory purposes to ensure safe nuclear operations now and in the long term. These are:

We have the legal authority to regulate nuclear safety, nuclear security and conventional health and safety at the 36 licensed nuclear sites in Great Britain (GB). This includes the existing fleet of operating reactors, fuel cycle facilities, waste management and decommissioning sites, as well as licensed and, in part*, authorised defence sites, together with the regulation of the design and construction of new nuclear facilities, including the supply chain.

Our nuclear security regulation ensures the adequacy of security arrangements for dealing with special nuclear material and special nuclear information within the civil nuclear industry and we also regulate the safety and security of the transport of civil nuclear and radioactive materials by road, rail and inland waterway, extending our regulation across a large number of dutyholders.

On 1 January 2021, we became the UK nuclear safeguards regulator for the domestic standards regime and began to operate the UK State System of Accountancy for and Control of Nuclear Materials (SSAC).

Our duty is to ensure that the nuclear industry controls its hazards effectively, has a culture of continuous improvement and maintains high standards.

Transparency about our work is essential to build and maintain public confidence in our regulation. We provide a significant amount of information on our regulatory activities on this website and through our stakeholder engagement. We always seek to be more open and transparent by sharing information on our activities, answering questions, exploring concerns and explaining our regulatory decisions. You can find out more about us on our website.

* On authorised defence sites we regulate the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, including Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019 and Ionising Radiation Regulations 2017.