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Licensee representatives gather for CNI-themed inspection engagement day

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) held a successful industry engagement day for its forthcoming Chief Nuclear Inspector’s (CNI) themed inspection on climate change.

Representatives from many of the UK's nuclear licensees attended Tuesday's event at Redgrave Court, Bootle, Merseyside, to hear ONR inspectors' expectations for the CNI themed inspection which runs throughout 2023 until 2025.

ONR considers it essential that all nuclear licensed sites remain safe and secure from the effects of climate change.

This year, ONR is asking site operators to complete a self-assessment questionnaire on their arrangements and resilience in relation to climate change effects.

Next year, site-based regulatory inspections will be conducted by ONR at selected sites on a targeted and proportionate basis.

The sites selected for inspection will be informed by the responses within the initial self-assessment questionnaires.

Once the site-based regulatory inspections are completed, the CNI themed inspection summary report on climate change will be published, detailing the conclusions and findings.

Andria Gilmour, ONR's Civil Engineering & External Hazards Lead Inspector, said: "It was great to see a strong attendance for our engagement day which was an excellent start to this two-year process which will see us work with dutyholders to better understand their ongoing approaches for consideration of climate change in nuclear safety cases.

"There is a clear and shared commitment from ONR, and the industry, to ensure that the effects of climate change is a topic which remains a major priority at all nuclear sites in Great Britain, now and for the years ahead."

Among the licensee representatives who attended the engagement day were Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, NNB GenCo (HPC) Ltd, Sellafield Limited, Rolls Royce, Nuclear Waste Services and Urenco UK Ltd.

Climate change was considered an appropriate subject for this next CNI themed inspection and best addressed by a targeted suite of regulatory inspections.

This will strengthen ONR’s understanding of how potential climate change effects are being identified and managed by licensees across nuclear sites.

The themed inspection will study the effectiveness of site licensees' arrangements to monitor and review climate change information to determine if additional measures are needed to ensure that activities remain protected in the future.

The Chief Nuclear Inspector’s themed inspections were introduced in 2017 and are designed to examine regulatory matters that are strategic or broader in nature than ONR’s more routine regulatory inspection activities.

They also raise awareness of important issues and highlight ONR’s regulatory activities and expectations to a wider audience, in addition to the nuclear industry.