NIS supports independent Nuclear Installations Inspectorate

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NIS is supporting government proposals to reorganise the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate into an independent new regulator for the nuclear sector.

In a response to consultation on the new body NIS has pressed for establishment of a new regulator to be used as an opportunity to increase the transparency and accountability of regulation of the nuclear industry. However, we also warn that creation of the new regulator must be driven by a desire to improve the quality of regulation, and not by a desire to save money or reduce costs for industry. Sufficient time and resources must be allowed to enable the reorganisation to be done properly.

NIS also wants the new regulator to assume responsibility for regulation of the defence nuclear programme and take over the duties of the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator. Current arrangements, whereby the Ministry of Defence regulates its own nuclear programme, do not represent good practice and are neither transparent nor trusted by observers of the defence nuclear programme.

NIS Project Director Peter Burt said: “It is essential that regulatory standards for the nuclear industry improve over the years ahead as nuclear infrastructure gets older and legacy wastes accumulate. The military nuclear programme, in particular, has been a law unto itself for many years, with the Ministry of Defence acting as its own watchdog. We now have an opportunity to put an end to this clear conflict of interest.”

Read NIS's full response to the consultation paper in the attached file below.