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International Convention on Nuclear Safety

The UK is a signatory to various international treaties and conventions which place legally binding obligations on the UK to demonstrate compliance. The Convention on Nuclear Safety (the Convention) is one such international convention, covering land-based civil nuclear power plants. As a signatory to the Convention, the UK is required, on a three year cycle, to submit a report for review by other Contracting Parties and to participate in a peer review process. The Convention Report presents evidence as to how the UK meets its obligations in compliance with the Articles of the Convention (see Appendix) which are aimed at promoting high levels of safety in nuclear installations. The Convention work is therefore a significant and high-profile assurance project undertaken by ONR at the request of the UK Government (BEIS) and is also highly important for the reputation of ONR in the international arena.

The objectives of this Convention are:

  • to achieve and maintain a high level of nuclear safety worldwide through the enhancement of national measures and international co-operation including, where appropriate, safety-related technical co-operation;
  • to establish and maintain effective defences in nuclear installations against potential radiological hazards in order to protect individuals, society and the environment from harmful effects of ionizing radiation from such installations;
  • to prevent accidents with radiological consequences and to mitigate such consequences should they occur

The following reports have been prepared by the United Kingdom (UK) to meet the requirement of Article 5 of the Convention on Nuclear Safety. They consider each of the Convention's obligations and explain how the UK addresses them.

Meetings and reports

2014 meeting

The 6th UK National Report has undergone a robust review process. This ensured factual accuracy of material presented and consistency of language and the reporting level throughout the document. The Report presents a balanced view of nuclear safety issues at UK civil nuclear power plants and demonstrates the work of ONR in influencing other stakeholders to achieve improvements in nuclear safety. The report and our participation in the subsequent Review Meeting will be conducted within ONR's overall approach of greater openness and transparency, which is high on our agenda. In particular, emphasis was given to ensure that the report highlights the UK and ONR's strategic priorities including:

  • improving emergency preparedness and response arrangements following the accident in Fukushima
  • securing the 'resilience' of ONR in respect of its resource and capability both now and in the future;
  • participating in the International Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission to the UK which provides us with the opportunity to further improve our regulatory effectiveness through a process of peer review and learning
  • Implementation of organisational changes within ONR to achieve greater consistency, accountability, regulatory effectiveness and regulatory independence

Emphasis was also given to the work of ONR within the wider UK strategy to respond to the specific factors that are likely to dominate the international agenda over the next few years. These include globalisation of the nuclear industry and the need for greater co-operation with other national regulators.

Work is currently underway to prepare for the Convention Review Meeting in March 2014. This includedpeer review of reports prepared by other Contracting Parties and providing answers to the questions raised on the UK report. The Chief Nuclear Inspector will present the overall UK position to the Convention on 25th of March 2014 and provide answers to the peer questions.