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Start of second Topical Peer Review

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) is coordinating the UK’s involvement in the second Topical Peer Review (TPR 2) covering fire protection (nuclear safety) at nuclear installations.

The terms of reference, specification and engagement plan for the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) TPR 2 have now been agreed and published.

The European Union’s (EU) revised Nuclear Safety Directive (NSD) requires member states to undertake national assessments on a specific topic related to nuclear safety every six years, followed by peer review by other member states. These topics are selected by ENSREG.

Following its exit from the EU, the UK has become an ‘observer’ of ENSREG and while we are no longer legally bound, the government has decided to participate in the TPR.

ONR has been requested to coordinate the UK’s involvement on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The first phase of TPR 2 involves national self-assessments. During this phase, each participating country prepares a National Assessment Report (NAR) according to the structure defined in the Technical Specification (TS).

The NAR is produced by each country's competent regulatory authority with a significant input from the licensees.

The NAR should identify the main strengths and propose actions to address any areas for improvement.

The self-assessment phase of TPR 2 will take place between July 2022 and October 2023.

Following publication of the national report in October 2023, a public consultation on the NARs and an international peer review workshop will take place in 2024.

ENSREG will then prepare a plan setting out how the recommendations of the peer review workshop will be implemented.

This plan is expected to be agreed by the end of 2025 and will be followed up by National Action Plans to be progressed from 2025 to 2027.

During the self-assessment phase, ONR will be engaging extensively with participating licensees including EDF, NNB GenCo, Sellafield Ltd, Urenco UK Ltd., Springfields Fuels Ltd. and Dounreay Site Restoration Limited.

This will start with a stakeholder event this September in ONR’s Bootle office.

Steve Vinton, ONR’s Director of Regulation for the Technical Division, said: “ONR is committed to ensuring the safety and security of the public and TPRs are an important part of demonstrating this and delivering continuous improvement across the nuclear sector.

“The key purpose of TPRs is to allow different countries to share operating experience and identify good practice, consider common issues, and define follow-up actions to address the challenges posed.”