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Energy Act 2013

Section 84: Investigations

414.This section empowers the ONR to, or to authorise another person to, investigate and produce a special report on certain defined matters, called “relevant matters”. These matters include any accident or occurrence or situation which it considers it is desirable to investigate for any of its purposes. They also cover any matter which the ONR considers it is desirable to investigate with a view to making nuclear regulations or regulations under section 15 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for the nuclear site health and safety purposes. Thus, for example, the ONR might ask a third party to carry out a study and report to it about the effectiveness of regulations in ensuring the safe and secure transport of nuclear materials in Great Britain.

415.Under subsection (2), the ONR may publish all or part of a special report. However, subsection (7) provides that this is subject to section 94, and the consent of the Secretary of State must be sought for the publication of any communication which falls within section 94 (see subsection (2) of this section).

416.This section also gives the ONR the necessary powers to make payments to anyone (provided they are not a member of the ONR or a member of its staff) who carries out (or assists in) an investigation or makes (or assists in the making of) a special report (see subsections (4) and (5)).

417.Before investigating a matter which appears to the ONR to be, or is likely to be, relevant to the “railway safety purposes”, it must consult the Office of Rail Regulation (see subsection (6)). “Railway safety purposes” is defined in paragraph 1 of Schedule 3 to the Railways Act 2005 and relates, for example, to protecting the public or people at work from risks arising from the operation of railways.

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