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ONR delegation at Vienna Convention on Nuclear Safety

A delegation from ONR has been in Vienna for the Joint 8th and 9th Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) 2023.

The review meeting was part of an extensive two-week programme at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna.

The UK is a signatory to a range of international treaties and conventions which place legally binding obligations on the UK to demonstrate compliance. The Convention on Nuclear Safety covers land-based civil nuclear power plants.

As a signatory, the UK is required to submit a report for review by other participating countries on a three-year cycle and to participate in a peer review process.

The Convention Report presents evidence of how the UK meets its obligations in compliance with the Articles of the Convention which are aimed at promoting high levels of safety in nuclear installations.

The UK report, authored by ONR at the request of the UK government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), was presented by Chief Nuclear Inspector Mark Foy.

It was confirmed that the UK has fulfilled each of the requirements of the 8th and 9th Convention.

The assessment of the report also concluded that the UK has met all challenges and suggestions made in the previous review meeting, held in 2017.

Additionally, the report was found to demonstrate an area of ‘good practice’, meaning the UK has implemented a new or revised practice, policy or programme that makes a significant contribution to nuclear safety, which others could learn from.

The ‘good practice’ formally recognises the good work that ONR has done to establish diverse recruitment pipelines to ensure it is well positioned to meet future resource demands.

The UK has also been cited for nine areas of ‘good performance’ which demonstrates a practice, policy or programme that is worthwhile to commend and has been undertaken and implemented effectively.

Mark Foy said: “The convention review meeting was a timely assessment of the UK approach to nuclear safety. We welcome the input from our partner countries in the peer review of our activity and the multi-lateral approach to ensuring global nuclear safety.

“The positive review of the UK report and the acknowledgement of significant accomplishments within the sector clearly demonstrates the UK’s commitment to the convention, maintaining high standards of nuclear safety and effective nuclear regulation. I look forward to continuing this work in the coming years and meeting the challenges set for us.”

“It was a privilege to lead the UK delegation, with members from ONR and DESNZ. They worked hard during the meeting, contributing to the review and assessment of other participating countries’ national situations.

“I was pleased that the collective efforts of the team ensured the situation in Ukraine, and the adverse impact Russia’s unlawful invasion has had on nuclear safety, was given appropriate consideration by the Convention review meeting."