It has been confirmed by Westminster that the proposed Merchant Shipping (Nuclear Ships) Regulations 2022 was laid before both the House of Commons and the House of Lords on the 16th November 2022. This ‘statutory instrument’ will now embark on it’s passage through Parliament and is set to come into force on 8th December 2022.

The legislation has come about partly as a result of a consultation document released in August 2021, and – later – the intention stated by govt. earlier in 2022 to pass the Act into Law. The “Nuclear Code” for merchant ships, which is found in Chapter VIII of the Annex to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (also known as “SOLAS”), will become law thanks to these regulations.

The Nuclear Code itself however is old (1981) and refers only to the technology of its’ time (PWRs), and is therefore not suitable for a forthcoming fleet of advanced nuclear-electric ships. It is anticipated that – now the UK Government has closed the loophole of not having the Code as part of its DfT rules on the statute book – it will take the next logical step which is to update the Nuclear Code so as to be fit for purpose for the future.

You can read more about the legislation here; you can follow its path through parliament here; more updates on Advanced Atomic, please follow our LinkedIn page: follow us on Twitter at: @corepower10