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International Nuclear Regulators Association (INRA) gather for annual forum

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has this week joined with fellow regulators in Japan for an annual meeting to help enhance safety and security across the industry worldwide.

Mark Foy, ONR's Chief Executive and Chief Nuclear Inspector, and Donald Urquhart, ONR's Executive Director of Operations, are currently representing the UK at the International Nuclear Regulators Association (INRA) forum.

INRA is made up of nine member countries - Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The association, established in 1997, exists to exchange regulatory policy perspectives and to further nuclear safety and security standards on a global level.

International engagement is important to ONR’s regulation as we seek to influence the development of international standards and guidance for nuclear safety, security and safeguards, enhancing our reputation as a world-leading regulator.

Along with a series of presentations delivered by each member country, this INRA meeting in Japan will see the group visit Onagawa Nuclear Power Station, Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency Oarai Research and Development Institute.

Mark is delivering a speech from a UK regulatory perspective and focusing on the topic of efficiency, while also chronicling significant ONR milestones within the last 12 months including the regulation of the Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor fleet (AGRs), the completion of the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) for the UK Hualong One Pressurised Water Reactor (UK HPR1000) and the GDA commencement of the Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor (SMR) design.

He said: "This INRA visit to Japan will help strengthen working relationships between the heads of the world's nuclear regulatory bodies as we discuss the potential challenges the industry is facing in the years ahead.

"Among many benefits, the meeting is an excellent opportunity to connect with like-minded regulators who are currently progressing SMR assessments, with a view to potential harmonisation and working closer together.

"On the topic of efficiency, it's a really good opportunity to hear what other regulators are doing in this area who are also keen to learn how we are focusing on this issue within ONR."