Office for Nuclear Regulation

Expert panel - Regulation of artificial intelligence in nuclear

March 2022

As part of our work to support the nuclear industry in embracing innovation, we ran an expert panel meeting on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the nuclear sector along with the Advanced Nuclear Skills and Innovation Campus (ANSIC). The aim of the expert panel was to establish a roadmap for effective and enabling regulation of AI in the nuclear sector.

The panel discussed the opportunities and challenges in the application of AI and recognised that they are likely to be the same across other industrial sectors.

The panel identified three broad opportunities for the deployment of AI:

  • Advisory applications (e.g. inspections, modelling to assist design)
  • Supervisory applications (e.g. analysis of data and operational efficiency / optimisation)
  • Control applications (e.g. automation)

During discussions the panel identified themes associated with the use and regulation of AI:

We asked the panel to identify potential applications of AI that could be challenging to regulate. These will then be put into the Regulatory Sandbox we are developing. Sandboxing enables innovators to test and trial new solutions in a safe environment without the pressures of the usual rules applying. This will allow the industry and regulators to develop appropriate confidence in AI, understand ways of regulating AI and gather industry views on what an appropriate safety case could look like.