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Considering the impact of climate change in nuclear regulation

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) recently hosted the final of a three-part series of workshops on its regulation of climate change, co-produced with non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The sessions during the last year have given NGOs an insight into how ONR considers climate change when regulating the nuclear industry.

The series was organised after their feedback stated how climate change was an area of particular interest for NGOs.

Nuclear sites must remain safe and secure from hazards including rising sea levels and increasing temperatures, and so considering climate change is a vital part of our regulatory process.
ONR actively engages with all licensees about their considerations of climate change in nuclear safety cases, which should include projections used to define the design basis for external hazards affected by climate change.

Attendees discussed their viewpoints with ONR inspectors and explored the national guidance, standards and best practice relating to the regulation of climate at each stage of a nuclear site’s life cycle.

The final two face-to-face sessions were led by independent facilitators and supported by Donald Urquhart, ONR's Executive Director of Regulation, alongside ONR inspectors.

Donald said: “This is the first time we have held a series of workshops on climate change.

“They provided an opportunity to engage collaboratively with NGOs to share views and develop an understanding of issues relating to climate change, its relevance to nuclear safety and to our approach to regulation.

“We had constructive, open and frank discussions that allowed us to understand each other’s perspectives and to explore points of difference."

Stakeholder engagement remains one of our key strategic priorities and ONR looks forward to building on the success of these workshops in the future.