7 Nuclear Directorate |
84. In the Nuclear White Paper (January 2008), the
Government announced it would be working with the regulators of
the nuclear industry to explore ways of enhancing further the
transparency and efficiency of the regulatory regime, without
diminishing its effectiveness in dealing with the challenges of
new nuclear power stations. Subsequently, Dr Tim Stone was appointed
to carry out a review of the current nuclear regulatory environment.
The focus of the review was on HSE's Nuclear Directorate (ND),
of which the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) is the major
part. Interim recommendations were delivered to the Government
in June 2008.
85. In the short term, Stone recommended that "the
pay and other critical compensation elements of current and prospective
NII staff must be adjusted rapidly to enable recruitment of the
full complement of staff needed."
86. In the medium term, he emphasised the need for
the Nuclear Directorate to be able to recruit and retain sufficient
suitably qualified and skilled staff through having flexibility
over its own remuneration and employment terms and conditions,
as well as governance and location. He argued that this was necessary
to compete with the private sector for the specialist resources
it needs to operate to world-class standards and to meet business
needs, both in the immediate term and on a permanently sustainable
87. Prospect welcomed Stone's recommendation that
pay and compensation for Nuclear Installations Inspectorate staff
should be adjusted rapidly to enable recruitment of the full complement
of staff needed. In a press release it said:
"The NII has 170 inspectors and needs an additional
20 for current work, as well as 30 more to meet nuclear new build
needs. Also 50 inspectors are due to retire in the next five years.
"Tim Stone's findings vindicate Prospect's long
and determined campaign for change. We welcome his calls to find
a long-term pay solution that recognises the skills shortage within
the industry and the difficulty of recruiting suitably qualified
and skilled inspectors in competition with the private sector."
88. Prospect also welcomed proposed changes to the
NII structure, including creation of satellite NII offices in
London and Cheltenham, alongside the Bootle headquarters.
89. The Government plans to legislate to establish
the Nuclear Directorate as a statutory corporation. This would
create an autonomous body, but one that would retain HSE's overall
governance. The Government expects this change to be implemented
through a Legislative Reform Order (LRO) and to be established
in autumn 2010 and hopes that shadow arrangements could be put
in place before then.
In June 2009, the Government published a consultation document
which outlined its plans to create a:
"new sector-specific independent regulator,
with a predominantly non-executive board, which reports to: (i)
Ministers in respect of its regulatory functions; and (ii) Ministers
and the HSE in respect of strategies and business planning".
90. During our visit to HSE's headquarters in Bootle,
we were told by HSE that the new organisation would remain within
the public sector but would have greater flexibility to respond
to the challenges it faces (including recruitment and retention
91. We also met with Prospect representatives, who
said that Nuclear Inspectors generally agreed that the decision
to create a statutory corporation was the right one. However,
this would be dependent on appropriate governance structures and
assurances that Nuclear Inspectors terms and conditions of employment
including pension entitlement would be consistent with the current
92. We asked Geoffrey Podger to clarify governance
arrangements and the impact of the transfer on employees' benefits.
He explained that final decisions have not yet been taken by
Ministers; however, he expected there would be separate board,
on which HSE would be represented. In terms of status of employees
with the Directorate, he said:
"The view is taken that those nuclear inspectors
who will transfer to the new body will not remain civil servants.
It is important to understand, as is part of Dr Stone's review,
the need to be able to pay comparable salaries to those which
are available elsewhere in the nuclear industry, and it is certainly
thought that this will be facilitated by those people no longer
remaining civil servants. We are in discussions with HSE trade
union colleagues in relation to the status of other staff. We
certainly envisage that in relation to HSE administrative and
clerical staff, who will initially move to the Authority, that
they will be secondees and, therefore, they will ultimately have
a choice over time as to whether they wish to join the new body
permanently or return to us in HSE. There are some other specialist
staff who are very important but who are not nuclear inspectors
whose status we need to further consider with our trade union
colleagues, and those discussions are going on at the moment."
welcome proposals to change the structure of the Nuclear Directorate
on the basis that it enhances the transparency and efficiency
of the regulatory regime and should resolve the recruitment difficulties
it has experienced in the past.
94. We are pleased
that the new body will have a separate board from HSE and we recommend
that the Government consults on the governance arrangements before
appointing board members. We ask the Government to keep us updated
on progress towards the development of the new structure and we
will return to this issue again as necessary.
95. For those
staff who are permanently transferred to the new body it is imperative
that their rights under TUPE legislation are protected. We ask
HSE to provide further information on the implications of this
transfer and to ensure that the move does not impact negatively
on those affected.
60 Tim Stone, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State
for Energy and Climate Change and to the Chief Secretary to the
Treasury, Nuclear Regulatory Review, Summary Recommendations,
December 2008 Back
"Nuclear inspectors welcome call for pay boost", Prospect
press release, 28 January 2009 Back
HSE website, Proposed changes to Nuclear Directorate, http://www.hse.gov.uk/nuclear/ndchanges.htm Back
Department for Work and Pensions and Department for Energy and
Climate Change , A Consultation on the Restructuring of the
Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Directorate, June 2009 Back