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The Office for Nuclear Regulation has published a list of events reported to the Nuclear Safety Regulator from 1 April 2001 until 31 March 2015.
The report which can be read here, covers 3866 safety related events which were reported to ONR during this period, with the vast majority (3857) being minor in nature (i.e. at or below the lowest level of safety significance on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES).
The INES scale was introduced in 1990 by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to enable prompt communication of safety significant information in the event of nuclear accidents. The scale ranges from 1 to 7 and is intended to be logarithmic, with each increasing level representing an accident approximately 10 times more severe than the previous level. Level 0 is defined as being 'below scale' and has no safety significance. Levels 1-3 are called 'incidents' and Levels 4-7 'accidents.'
Event data from the defence sector have not traditionally been classified against the INES scale, so although this was done in some cases, not all events were necessarily classified.
AWE fully supports the ONR's focus on continuous improvement, effective hazard control and maintaining high standards.
The publication of this comprehensive review of reported events is a welcome contribution towards building trust and confidence in the safety of the UK nuclear industry.
AWE is committed to attaining and maintaining the highest standards in safety and this is reflected in the stringent internal targets we set ourselves and the importance we place in understanding the root cause of events that occur on our sites - however small - to prevent recurrence.
Being transparent about our performance is important and we welcome the independent scrutiny and monitoring our regulator provides, and the help it offers in maintaining these high standards and continuously improving our performance.
We continue to work closely with the regulator to deliver these standards