Skip to content

Security module from ONR to be studied by candidates across the globe

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has helped to develop content for The World Institute for Nuclear Security’s (WINS) academy programme to be studied by professionals across the globe working towards an acclaimed certification.

The UK independent nuclear regulator supplied a case study for a key learning module within WINS’ training programme, part of the organisation's endorsed courses.

Successful candidates go on to secure the Civil Nuclear Security Professional certification, awarded by the Vienna-based institute.

ONR's contributed case study will go 'live' in April and was accompanied by elements provided by other nuclear regulators from Finland, South Africa, Argentina, Lithuania, Serbia, Mexico and Nigeria as expertise and insights were shared with WINS by agencies across the world.

For the module, ONR produced an eight-page learning document, detailing the implementation of an outcome-focused approach within its Civil Nuclear Security and Safeguards (CNSS) division, with the most recent added element of safeguards regulation following the UK’s leaving EURATOM and exit from the European Union.

This collaboration with WINS was linked to our goals of promoting the continuous professional development with other sovereign regulators by sharing expertise in nuclear and radioactive safety, security and safeguards regulation.

Titled 'The Evolution of a Regulator from a 1S to 2S to 3S Approach', the module linked into elements of ONR security inspector Matt Sims' paper for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference on nuclear security in 2020.

The ONR module itself reflected how "in unifying three separate regulators [safety, security and safeguards], with three differing regulatory approaches, with separate regulatory processes, ONR faced a significant challenge in achieving their current position.

"This harmonisation can be a difficult journey due to the complexity, resource requirements and the fact that it has to address cultural change."

And it concluded: "The benefits of implementing an outcome-focused approach are likely to be especially worthwhile where the industry is large, diverse and/or growing to incorporate new nuclear power stations and facilities. It should be stressed that these benefits are evident for both the regulator and regulated."

Matt Sims, ONR’s Superintending Inspector and Professional Lead for Protective Security, said: "Since its establishment under The Energy Act in 2014, ONR has been on a journey to harmonise its regulation of safety, security and safeguards.

“It’s been a privilege to be part of that journey and have the opportunity to share the experiences gained with the international community so those attempting to establish a similar model of cross-purpose regulation might learn and benefit.”

A spokesperson for The World Institute for Nuclear Security’s (WINS) said: "Regulation is fundamental for ensuring the security of nuclear and other radioactive materials.

“In revising the WINS Academy Regulation module, we called upon global expertise and having ONR engagement for the re-development of the learning content has been invaluable.

“Having experts from different countries to collectively review and agree content, based on their own regulatory requirements is a great way of sharing knowledge and learning from others’ experiences.

“The case studies we have developed with the experts give a great awareness for learners of real examples, putting regulations into practice and having ONR as a regulator in the UK with experience spanning over 70 years gives real credibility to the challenges faced on establishing the regulations for safety, security and safeguards.”

WINS is a professional institute committed to building an international community of nuclear security professionals who are demonstrably competent and willing to work together to strengthen the security of nuclear and other radioactive materials.