Corporate Risk Associates wins Office of Nuclear Regulation technical support contract

Risk management consultancy Corporate Risk Associates (CRA) has been awarded a new contract by the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to support the client’s efforts in performing the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of Hitachi-GE’s UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR).

The reactor designs, which energy company Horizon Nuclear Power plans to operate at sites in Anglesey and Oldbury, are currently proceeding through the fourth and final step of the GDA process.

A necessary requirement for any prospective reactor technology to be operated in the UK, the GDA will be supported by CRA, and is a full and thorough design assessment procedure.

CRA will help to ensure that the reactors meet the robust reliability standards of the regulator and can be operated safely. This will minimise the risk of human error across all nuclear safety situations to below acceptable limits.

The work will be led by CRA’s Human Factors service delivery team with Dr Les Ainsworth – a specialist in human reliability, safety case and task analysis – acting as overall technical lead.

Dr Ainsworth has led a distinguished career spanning over 40 years within the Human Factors sector and built up a strong reputation for the practical application of ergonomics and psychology to complex industrial processes and systems in the nuclear sector both in the UK and abroad. He has been heavily involved in supporting the ONR assessments for licensing the EDF and Westinghouse reactor designs for the UK.

Speaking about the contract win, Dr Ainsworth informed Risk UK: “We’re delighted to be working on such an important Human Claims and Reliabilities assessment for the ONR and the UK energy sector, which will be performed under CRA’s growing Human Factors service offering. Securing this contract is testament to our increasing involvement in Best Practice human reliability analysis performed to support both existing and planned nuclear developments here in the UK and overseas.”

Strong pedigree in the nuclear sector

Founded back in 2000, CRA boasts a strong pedigree in the nuclear sector having advised on the management of safety, risk and reliability across projects including the Magnox plant at Wylfa, all seven of the UK’s advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGR) and the recently approved Hinkley Point C. It’s envisaged the latest project will take up to 12 months to complete with four CRA staff involved.

Boasting a team of 35 consultants, CRA prides itself on managing safety, reliability and risk across the nuclear, rail and defence industries, delivering scrutiny as part of licensing processes that ensure projects across these sectors can be operated safely and effectively.

Boiling Water Reactors are one of the world’s most common types of nuclear power generating technology and the ABWR is considered state-of-the-art. Since the introduction of boiling water reactor technology, Hitachi has participated in the design, development and construction of over 20 nuclear power plants in Japan alone.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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