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Working with academia to enhance regulatory decision-making

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) is committed to working with academic institutions to ensure we have up-to-date scientific and technical information to inform our regulatory decisions.

ONR has commissioned Lancaster University’s Statistics and Operational Research with Industrial Partners Institute to develop a statistical framework for identifying the risks to sites from hazard combinations.

The university’s research into hazard combinations will support ONR’s existing approaches for informing the design basis of nuclear facilities.

Superintending Inspector Marc Vannerem, ONR’s Research Lead, said: “It’s important that we continue to engage with academic institutions and professional bodies, expert panels and other groups so we have the required information to inform our regulatory decisions.

“Therefore, ONR is pleased to be supporting PhD candidate Callum Barltrop of Lancaster University, who is performing post-graduate research to develop a statistical framework for characterising combined extreme events.”

Callum’s research is already gaining critical acclaim having achieved third place in the Smith Institute’s TakeAIM competition for mathematics.

His work has also been selected for the final in the STEM for Britain competition (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and he will be presenting his project at the House of Commons to Members of Parliament in March.

Marc said: “ONR supporting Callum’s research at Lancaster University is a great example of our work with academia and shows our commitment to the development of the UK’s talent pipeline.

“We already have a thorough understanding of the risks posed to sites by hazard combinations and regulate this effectively. However, once completed Callum’s research will further enhance our understanding and support our regulation.

“I’d like to congratulate Callum for the critical acclaim his research is gaining and wish him all the best for the STEM for Britain final.”

Callum Barltrop, said: “I’d like to thank ONR for supporting my research through Lancaster University into characterising hazard combinations.

“It’s been a really interesting, challenging and rewarding piece of research to work on.”