From the 7th of January revised arrangements are now in place for licensees and other dutyholders to report incidents to the Office for Nuclear Regulation (“ONR”). The amendments have come as a result of a review of the incident reporting arrangements and guidance introduced on 1st January 2012, replacing the previous system of telephone reporting followed by ONR completed FAST-steam reports.
Nuclear safety, transport and safeguards incidents will now be reported directly to a central notification address within the ONR. The arrangements currently in place for the reporting of security incidents remain unchanged. The Guidance for Notifying and Reporting Incidents and Events to ONR and the ONR Incident Notification Form, both available from the ONR, have been amended to include the changes.
There are several key changes to the Guidance for Notifying and Reporting Incidents and Events:
- Firstly a new ONR category has been created, TS09: The discovery of radioactive material in a shipment believed to be non-radioactive, for transport safety incidents.
- Plain language is to be used wherever possible on INF1 notifications to aid with ONR’s understanding of the incident and the relevant details.
- Follow Up Reports are to be provided by licensees and other dutyholders within a maximum of 60 days from the submission of an INF1 notification. If a Follow Up Report cannot be sent to ONR within 60 days, the licensee or dutyholder must inform ONR as soon as is practicable to discuss alternative arrangements. For events where only an AN01 category has been assigned, i.e. an event likely to attract, or that has already attracted, significant media or public attention but has not affected nuclear safety, transport, security, or safeguards, a Follow Up Report will not generally be required.
- Each notifiable incident should be assigned just one ONR category (with the exception of AN01). Where the incident could fall under several ONR categories, the category with the greatest significance, and therefore the shortest reporting timescale should be assigned.
- Ministerial Reporting Criteria regarding safety and radiological incidents have also been included to the Guidance. Work is currently ongoing to develop ministerial reporting criteria for transport, safeguards and security incidents which are to be included in the future.
The new procedure has a review date of 25th November 2015.