Office for Nuclear Regulation

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) is the safety regulator for the nuclear industry in the United Kingdom.[1] It is an independent statutory corporation whose costs are met by charging fees to the nuclear industry. The ONR reports to the Department for Work and Pensions, although it also works closely with the Department of Energy and Climate Change.[2]

Office for Nuclear Regulation
Statutory corporation overview
JurisdictionUnited Kingdom
HeadquartersBuilding 4, Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle L20 7HS
Annual budget£71 million
Statutory corporation executives
  • Adriènne Kelbie, Chief Executive
  • Mark McAllister, Chair
  • Mark Foy, Chief Nuclear Inspector


The establishment of the ONR followed a 2008 review conducted on behalf of the Government into the regulation of the UK civil nuclear industry, recommending the creation of a single industry specific regulator.[3]

It was initially created on 1 April 2011 as a non-statutory agency of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), with the Government intending to put the ONR on a statutory basis at a later date.[4][3]

The ONR was formed from the merger of the HSE's Nuclear Directorate (the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, the Office for Civil Nuclear Security and the UK Safeguards Office) and from 1 June 2011, the Department for Transport's Radioactive Materials Transport Team.[3]

Nick Baldwin, former chief executive of Powergen (now E.ON UK) was appointed part-time interim chair of the ONR on its formation,[1] resigning as a non-executive director of Scottish and Southern Energy.[5] John Jenkins was appointed as Chief Executive of ONR from 1 June 2013,[6] having previously been chief operating officer.[7]

Legislation to establish the ONR was included in the Energy Act 2013, and it was formally launched as an independent statutory corporation on 1 April 2014.[8] The ONR is governed by a ten member board, and is accountable to Parliament through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in matters of finance, governance and non-nuclear health and safety.[9]

John Jenkins resigned from his post on 28 February 2015 and was replaced by Les Philpott on 1 March 2015 as the Interim Chief Executive. Adriènne Kelbie was appointed Chief Executive and took up the appointment on 18 January 2016.[10]

As of 2017 it had about 600 staff and a budget of £70.7 million which was largely cost-recovered from users with a 4% grant from the DWP.[9] In October 2017 Mark Foy was appointed Chief Nuclear Inspector; he was previously the Deputy Chief Nuclear Inspector.[11]

Generic Design Assessment process

Following the 2006 Energy review the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate developed the Generic Design Assessment process (GDA), now operated by ONR, to assess new nuclear reactor designs ahead of site-specific proposals.[12] The GDA started assessing four designs:

However the ACR-1000 and ESBWR were subsequently withdrawn from the assessment for commercial reasons,[13][14] leaving the EPR and AP1000 as contenders for British new nuclear builds.[15][16] Assessment of the AP1000 was suspended at Westinghouse's request, awaiting a firm UK customer before addressing issues raised by the assessment.[17]

In 2012 Hitachi purchased Horizon Nuclear Power, announcing intent to build two to three 1,350 MWe Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWR) on both of Horizon's sites.[18] The ABWR will first require a UK GDA.[19] The assessment was agreed in April 2013.[17]

In 2015 Westinghouse resumed the AP1000 assessment, after Toshiba and ENGIE purchased NuGeneration and announced plans to develop Moorside Nuclear Power Station with 3 AP1000s. The GDA was initially planned to finish in March 2017. However as of November 2016 the ONR noted there was a "very large amount of assessment to complete with issues still emerging". Slippage of the completion date is likely,[20][21] though good progress was made early in 2017.[22]

On 21 September 2015 Energy Secretary Amber Rudd announced that a Chinese designed nuclear power station was expected to be built at Bradwell nuclear power station. The reactor chosen will first require a UK GDA,[23][24] which is likely to start in 2017 assessing the Hualong One.[25] On 19 January 2017 the GDA process for the Hualong One started, expected to be completed in 2021, in advance of possible deployment at the Bradwell nuclear power station site.[22]

On 30 March 2017 the AP1000 successfully completed the GDA process,[26] ironically the day after the designer, Westinghouse, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because of $9 billion of losses from its nuclear reactor construction projects, mostly the construction of four AP1000 reactors in the U.S.[27]

The ABWR GDA process completed successfully in December 2017.[28]

Nuclear defence activities

Although the ONR is primarily a civil regulator, the ONR Defence Programme regulates military nuclear and conventional safety across a number of licensed and non-licensed nuclear sites, which are operated for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) nuclear defence capability. This is carried out under a complex legal regime, in conjunction with MOD’s Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR). The ONR does not influence the design of submarine nuclear power plants or nuclear weapons, and does not regulate security or transport of MOD nuclear materials.[29]

ONR responsibility includes assessing the response systems for nuclear weapon accidents at HMNB Clyde and RNAD Coulport, in Argyll, Scotland.[30]

See also


  1. ^ a b New UK nuclear industry regulator launched Archived 9 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine HSE, accessed 3 April 2011
  2. ^ "Who we work with". ONR. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Proposed changes to the way we work Archived 30 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine HSE, accessed 3 April 2011
  4. ^ Creation of the Office for Nuclear Regulation – Written ministerial statement from the Department for Work and Pensions Archived 30 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine published 2011-02-08, accessed 3 April 2011
  5. ^ Baldwin leaves SSE board Herald Scotland, published 2011-04-02, accessed 3 April 2011
  6. ^ John Jenkins formally appointed as Chief Executive of ONR, published 2013-06-07, accessed 9 June 2013
  7. ^ Appointment of Chief Operating Officer Archived 3 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine, published 2012-05-31, accessed 9 June 2013
  8. ^ "ONR becomes Public Corporation". ONR. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  9. ^ a b "UK regulator outlines plan to 'remain fit for future'". World Nuclear News. 7 July 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "UK gets new chief nuclear inspector". Nuclear Engineering International. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  12. ^ "Background – assessment of new nuclear power stations". Health and Safety Executive. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  13. ^ "AECL bows out of British reactor development to focus on Canadian projects". CBC News. 4 April 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2009.
  14. ^ "Interview: "We will be back" in Europe, says GE". Nuclear Engineering International. 15 September 2009. Archived from the original on 5 May 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  15. ^ "New Nuclear Power Stations – Progress so far". Health and Safety Executive. Archived from the original on 1 June 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  16. ^ "News – Taking GDA work forward in the light of the unprecedented events in Japan". Health and Safety Executive. Archived from the original on 28 December 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  17. ^ a b "UK starts ABWR design assessment". World Nuclear News. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  18. ^ "Hitachi buys UK nuclear project from E.On and RWE". BBC. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  19. ^ "ABWR set for UK design assessment". Nuclear Engineering International. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  20. ^ "UK regulator reports 'slippage' in assessment of AP1000 design". World Nuclear News. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  21. ^ "UK regulators question Westinghouse's target date for AP1000 GDA". World Nuclear News. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  22. ^ a b "UK GDA reports good progress for AP1000 and UK ABWR". Nuclear Engineering International. 23 March 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  23. ^ George Parker (21 September 2015). "UK paves path for west's first China-designed nuclear reactor". Financial Times. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  24. ^ "China ready to build new nuclear plant at Bradwell-on-Sea". Essex Chronicle. 21 September 2015. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  25. ^ "UK to start regulatory assessment of Chinese design". World Nuclear News. 10 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  26. ^ "Westinghouse AP1000 completes GDA process in the UK". Nuclear Engineering International. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  27. ^ "Westinghouse files for bankruptcy". Nuclear Engineering International. 29 March 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  28. ^ "Hitachi-GE ABWR design cleared for use in UK". World Nuclear News. 14 December 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  29. ^ Regulation of GB's Defence Nuclear Programme (PDF) (Report). Office for Nuclear Regulation. January 2019. NS-INSP-GD-056. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  30. ^ "HM Naval Base Clyde – Quarterly report for 1 July 2011 to 30 September 2011". Bootle: Office for Nuclear Regulation, Health and Safety Executive. Archived from the original on 8 July 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2012.

External links

Arecleoch Wind Farm

Arecleoch Wind Farm is a 60 turbine wind farm in South Ayrshire, Scotland with a total capacity of 120 megawatts (MW), enough to power over 67,000 homes. Construction started in 2009 and it was commissioned in June 2011.

Bradwell nuclear power station

Bradwell nuclear power station is a partially decommissioned Magnox power station located on the Dengie peninsula at the mouth of the River Blackwater, Essex.

As of 2016, China General Nuclear Power Group and China National Nuclear Corporation are considering Bradwell for the site of a new nuclear power station.

British Energy Efficiency Federation

The British Energy Efficiency Federation (or BEEF) was founded in 1996 by the United Kingdom Government to provide a forum for consultation between existing industry associations in the energy sector.

Energy Act 2013

The Energy Act 2013 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, relating to the energy sector. It succeeded the Energy Act 2010. The Act focuses on setting decarbonisation targets for the UK, and reforming the electricity market. The Act was intended by Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey to "attract investment to bring about a once-in-a-generation transformation of our electricity market".

Energy Retail Association

The Energy Retail Association (ERA) was a trade association which promoted the interests of electricity and gas retailers in the domestic market in Great Britain, formed in 2003. In April 2012 it merged with the Association of Electricity Producers and the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy to become Energy UK.

HMNB Clyde

Her Majesty's Naval Base, Clyde (HMNB Clyde; also HMS Neptune) primarily sited at Faslane is one of three operating bases in the United Kingdom for the Royal Navy (the others being HMNB Devonport and HMNB Portsmouth). It is the service's headquarters in Scotland and is best known as the home of Britain's nuclear weapons, in the form of nuclear submarines armed with Trident missiles.

Horizon Nuclear Power

Horizon Nuclear Power is a British energy company that was expected to build new nuclear power stations in the United Kingdom. It was established in 2009, with its head office in Gloucester, and is now owned by Hitachi.

On 17 January 2019, Horizon suspended its UK nuclear development programme.

Hualong One

The Hualong One, also known as Hualong-1 or HPR1000, is a Chinese pressurized water nuclear reactor design.

The Hualong One was developed by the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG) and the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) based on the ACPR1000 and the ACP1000 designs.

Both are three-loop designs originally based on the same French design.

List X site

A List X site is a commercial site (i.e. non-government) on UK soil that is approved to hold UK government protectively marked information marked as 'Secret' or above, or international partners information classified ‘Confidential’ or above. This changed from 'Confidential and above' with the introduction of the Government Security Classification Scheme. It is applied to a company's specific site (or facility within that site) and not a company as a whole. The term has been used since the 1930s and is equivalent to facility security clearance (FSC) used in other countries.

Locations with this status are those normally involved with defence research and manufacturing that is vital to national security. The complete list of sites is itself classified. The list is administered by Defence Security and Assurance Services (DSAS), part of the Ministry of Defence.

A similar scheme, List N, is used for sites relating to civil nuclear research or power generation, and is administered by the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

List of occupational safety and health agencies

This is a geographically sorted list of national and subnational government agencies focusing on occupational safety and health. Subnational agencies are indented and listed after the corresponding national agencies.

Moorside nuclear power station

Moorside Nuclear Power Station was proposed for a site near Sellafield, in Cumbria, United Kingdom. The original plan by NuGeneration, a British subsidiary of Toshiba-owned Westinghouse Electric Company, had the station coming online from 2024 with 3.4GW of new nuclear capacity, from 3 AP1000 reactors. Work up to 2018 would include acquiring the site licence, the development consent order, and other required permits and permissions to start work. Site preparation was to take two years, up to 2020.Following the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Westinghouse in March 2017, the project was put under review. From December 2017 to July 2018 Kepco was named as preferred bidder. Kepco were thought to prefer their own APR-1400 reactor design for the site, a design which had not yet gone through generic design assessment with the UK's Office for Nuclear Regulation.

On 8 November 2018, it was announced that Toshiba plans for the new nuclear power station had been scrapped after Toshiba stated that it was to wind up its subsidiary company, NuGen. Moorside’s site will be handed over to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, with the government issuing a statement reaffirming its commitment to new nuclear.

New Electricity Trading Arrangements

New Electricity Trading Arrangements (NETA) is the system of market trading arrangements under which electricity is traded in the United Kingdom's wholesale electricity market as of 27 March 2001. The arrangements provided that parties could trade off their imbalances close to real time.

Nick Baldwin

Nicholas Peter Baldwin CBE FIMechE FIET (born 17 December 1952) is a British businessman, and the Chairman of the Office for Nuclear Regulation, and a former Chief Executive of Powergen (E.ON UK since July 2004)


NuGeneration (NuGen) is a company in liquidation that planned to build a new nuclear power station nearby the Sellafield nuclear site in the United Kingdom. The proposed site was called Moorside, and is to the north and west of Sellafield. On 8 November 2018, Toshiba announced their withdrawal from the project and intent to liquidate NuGen.

Nuclear power in the United Kingdom

Nuclear power in the United Kingdom generates around a quarter of the country's electricity as of 2016, projected to rise to a third by 2035. The UK has 15 operational nuclear reactors at seven plants (14 advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGR) and one pressurised water reactor (PWR)), as well as nuclear reprocessing plants at Sellafield and the Tails Management Facility (TMF) operated by Urenco in Capenhurst.

The United Kingdom established the world's first civil nuclear programme, opening a nuclear power station, Calder Hall at Windscale, England, in 1956. At the peak in 1997, 26% of the nation's electricity was generated from nuclear power. Since then several reactors have closed and by 2012 the share had declined to 19%. The older AGR reactors have been life-extended, and further life-extensions across the AGR fleet are likely.In October 2010 the British Government gave permission for private suppliers to construct up to eight new nuclear power plants. The Scottish Government, with the backing of the Scottish Parliament, has stated that no new nuclear power stations will be constructed in Scotland. In March 2012, E.ON UK and RWE npower announced they would be pulling out of developing new nuclear power plants, placing the future of nuclear power in the UK in doubt. Despite this, EDF Energy is still planning to build four new reactors at two sites, with public consultation completed and initial groundwork beginning on the first two reactors, sited at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Horizon Nuclear Power have plans for 4 to 6 new reactors at their sites, Wylfa and Oldbury. Three reactors were also proposed at the Moorside Nuclear Project but the future of these is now in doubt. An agreement has also been made which allows for Chinese-designed reactors to be built on the site of the Bradwell nuclear power station.

EDF Energy owns and manages the seven currently operating reactor sites, with a combined capacity of about 9 GW. Six new plants are proposed to be built in the next few decades. All nuclear installations in the UK are overseen by the Office for Nuclear Regulation.


ONR may refer to:

Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny, three far-right fascist Polish nationalist organisations known as National Radical Camp

Office for Nuclear Regulation in the United Kingdom

Office of Naval Research of the U.S. Navy

ON-Regel, a standard by the Austrian Standards Institute

ONR, the ICAO airline code for Air One Nine Company, Libya

ONR., stage name of Scottish singer Robert Shields

Ontario Northland Railway in Ontario, Canada

Organisation for National Reconstruction, a defunct political party in Trinidad and Tobago

Otter Nelson River School, a high school in Manitoba, Canada

RNAD Coulport

"Coulport" redirects here; for the neighbouring village, see Coulport (village).Royal Naval Armaments Depot Coulport, shortened to RNAD Coulport, on Loch Long in Argyll, Scotland, is the storage and loading facility for the nuclear warheads of the United Kingdom's Trident programme.

The base, near the village of Coulport, has up to 16 reinforced concrete bunkers built into the hillside on the eastern shore of Loch Long. It is the last depot in Britain to retain the "RNAD" designation, indicating a Royal Naval Armaments Depot.

The depot was established during the Cold War as the storage, maintenance and loading facility for Polaris nuclear weapons. Today, Coulport is mainly used for handling Trident warheads.

Two docks are located on the shoreline at the foot of the hill. There, weapons are loaded onto Vanguard-class nuclear submarines before they go on patrol and unloaded before they return to base at nearby Faslane. An older jetty is known as the Polaris Jetty, while the newer, covered Explosive Handling Jetty (EHJ) is used for handling Trident warheads.

Regal Petroleum

Regal Petroleum plc is a petroleum company based in London with assets in Romania, Ukraine, Greece, and Egypt. It was founded by Frank Timiş in November 1996, and is listed on the London Alternative Investment Market.


Wavegen Limited (later Voith Hydro Wavegen Limited) was a wave energy company based in Inverness, Scotland. It was founded in 1990 by Allan Thomson. It was sold to Voith Hydro in 2005, and they closed the company in 2013.


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