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Delicensing of nuclear sites

There are various ways in which a licensed nuclear site, or part of a site may be removed from the licensing requirements of the Nuclear Installations Act 1965.

Licensees can apply to us to delicense all or part of a site and effectively end their 'period of responsibility'.

We will consider applications for delicensing and will assess, from the licensees evidence and through information from other regulatory bodies (Environment Agency, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency or Natural Resources Wales), to ensure that no danger exists on site. The no danger criterion set by the Nuclear Installations Act must be met before we can make a decision on delicensing part or all of a site.

Once satisfied, we will provide notice in writing to the licensee that there has ceased to be any danger from ionising radiations from anything on the site.

The Energy Act 2023 contains amendments to the Nuclear Installations Act that will provide ONR and licensees with additional flexibility on the criteria that need to be met before all or part of a site can be delicensed and the period of responsibility ended. The new criteria are based on international standards agreed under the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the field of nuclear energy. The legislative amendments had been expected to come into force in June 2024 but have been delayed. Once a new implementation date is confirmed this page will be updated with further information on the new criteria. If you have any queries, about the delicensing of nuclear sites, please email