Nuclear regulatory authority
The designated UK Nuclear Regulatory Authority responsible for regulating safety and security is the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). Since 1 April 2014 ONR has operated as an independent statutory body (a "public corporation"), having previously been part of the Health and Safety Executive. ONR is responsible for regulating nuclear safety, health and safety on nuclear sites, nuclear security, nuclear safeguards and the transport of radioactive material.
The following facilities are regulated by the UK Nuclear Nuclear Regulatory: 16 operating civil nuclear power reactors comprising 14 advanced gas-cooled reactors at seven nuclear power stations; one Magnox gas-cooled reactor and one PWR, in addition to 25 permanently closed (defueling or decommissioning) Magnox gas-cooled reactors on ten sites; and five decommissioning nuclear research facilities, including research reactors, on five sites.
Radioactive waste and spent fuel management
ONR regulate radioactive waste and spent fuel management under the same framework as any other nuclear activity.
Main legal instruments
The main legal instruments on these issues are:
The Energy Act 2014 established the ONR as a statutory body and sets out its purposes and powers, the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 sets out a framework of requirements to ensure safety of workers and the public associated with all places of work; Nuclear Installations Act 1965 establishes system of licensing for nuclear installations; Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999 implements European Council Directive on Basic Safety Standards for radiation protection; The Nuclear Reactors (Environmental Impact Assessment for Decommissioning) Regulations 1999 implements European Council Directive 85/337; The Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001 implements European Council directive 96/29; The Nuclear Industries Security Regulations 2003 provides the regulatory framework for nuclear security; Freedom of Information Act 2000 makes provision for the disclosure of information held by public authorities; and Environmental Information Regulations 2004, as above in respect of information about activities which might affect the environment.
Last updated 11 Dec 2014