Nuclear Risk Insurers (NRI) has collaborated with Lloyd’s Futureset and EDF (UK) to profile the role nuclear will play in decarbonising our future energy supply. The video explains the relationship between Lloyd’s and NRI, and outlines NRI’s contribution to effecting regulatory change.
The video also highlights how NRI, and the capacity it pools from Lloyd’s syndicates and company market members, supports the nuclear industry by providing insurance in close partnership with the international nuclear insurance pools.
NRI has published its third Corporate Report- access it here.
Our latest Corporate Report has been redesigned to make it more accessible and engaging for our stakeholders. We’ve also included new sections on nuclear insurance pools and third-party liability claims, as well as an article on sustainability from Lloyd’s Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown.
In addition to the items above, the Corporate Report 2022 features an overview of the current nuclear landscape from Tom Greatrex, CEO at the Nuclear Industry Association, an update on SMR/AMR technology, and interviews with NRI members and international clients.
The report also lays out NRI’s vision for 2022 and beyond, and explains what makes nuclear insurance different from conventional insurance.
In partnership with the UK Nuclear Pool and five other European pools, Nuclear Risk Insurers (NRI) has chosen B3i to provide a distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based application to manage inter-pool reinsurance contracts. The technology will provide increased contract certainty, process efficiency and real-time portfolio oversight.
Contract certainty is one of the main benefits of B3i’s application, as it presents a single version of the truth to all users. Once a transaction has been initiated, it’s immediately distributed to reciprocating pools, and any response is also instantly logged.
NRI will, in future, be able to place and bind a reinsurance contract with a few clicks, avoiding the need to go back and forth via email to request documentation or further information. The whole reinsurance process will be made easier, more efficient and more accurate.
“It removes potential ambiguity from the process, as everyone is looking at the same data,” explained Rebecca Milton, Underwriting Business Analyst at NRI. “There’s no room for different interpretations of the same information.”
In parallel with the five other European pools, the Underwriting team at NRI has thoroughly tested B3i’s application and has now made it live.
Anticipating take-up from other nuclear pools, Claudio Mares, Senior Underwriter at NRI, commented: “In total, almost 30 pools interact during the placement of reinsurance risks, so it was important that we found a partner who could ultimately act and work on behalf of all the pools and get buy-in from all of them.”
Following the submission of its annual report for 2020 on climate actions, Nuclear Risk Insurers has been assigned Gold status in each of the required three steps (Measure, Reduce, Contribute) by the United Nations’ Climate Neutral Now initiative.
Climate Neutral Now is a worldwide community of organisations committed to accelerating the transition to global climate neutrality by 2050. The initiative also serves as a tool to promote and recognise voluntary steps taken by organisations related to climate action.
NRI signed up to Climate Neutral Now in 2020 and, as a result, implemented a detailed travel policy aimed at reducing the impact of its corporate travel activities, which typically have been the key contributor to NRI’s emissions. The restrictions imposed on all travel in 2020 meant that, as well as the reduction in commuting into the London office, the number of flights taken by its employees decreased from over 100 to 20.
All of NRI’s submitted data has been verified by carbon-analytics specialist Alectro.
“Having proven we could manage our international relationships with minimal trips abroad last year,” explained Val Martell, Engineering Surveyor at NRI, “the challenge now is to maintain this approach wherever possible to ensure our sustainability performance remains strong.
“As part of our innovative actions drive, we are seeking to engage our supply chain and wider partners to take action related to climate transparency. One specific example is to raise awareness of the impact of flights to and from annual events for other nuclear pools. We are engaging in conversations with all members to decide what is necessary as a collective. We also actively seek environmentally preferable purchasing for everyday items.”
NRI encourages employees who don’t travel internationally to identify additional innovative actions to reduce the organisation’s greenhouse gas emissions and add them to a dedicated database. One example is a vegetarian week held in May 2021 which promoted cutting back on eating meat.
If you would like to know more about NRI’s net zero activities, please contact us or the Alectro team here.
On 2 November 2021, NRI will host the third webinar in its ‘Frontiers in Nuclear Insurance’ series.
The webinar will focus on ‘Enabling Nuclear in Support of Global Sustainability Goals’ and will be divided into three parts.
The first part will present an update on NRI from its MD, Mark Popplewell, followed by Dr Tim Stone, Chairman of NRI and the NIA, discussing the latest developments in UK nuclear policy, industry and technology. Chris Lambert, Director at the Westminster Energy Forum and adviser to NRI, as chair, will conclude the first section by examining expectations for COP26, as well as the nuclear industry in the context of wider global energy and climate issues.
The second section will feature updates on nuclear regulatory and operational issues from three guests. Ximena Vasquez-Maignan, Head of the Office of Legal Affairs at the Nuclear Energy Agency and the OECD, will detail progress made towards ratifying the revised Paris Convention. Berta Picamal, Legal and International Relations Director at FORATOM, will then look at the implications for Europe of including nuclear within the taxonomy of the EU’s Climate Delegated Act. Lastly, Markus Koenig, Senior Underwriter at Munich Re, will discuss the risk of nuclear construction in the context of carbon emissions.
The third and final part of the webinar will see Patrick Tiernan, Chief of Markets at Lloyd’s of London, focus on developments in the London insurance market which support decarbonisation in the specific context of the nuclear industry.
On 22 April 2021, NRI continued its webinar series, ‘Frontiers in Nuclear Insurance’, by hosting ‘Nuclear Risk and Regulation Update, plus Future Considerations for Fusion’, the series’ second event. The webinar was attended by more than 130 representatives of the nuclear and insurance industry worldwide.
Chris Lambert, Director at the Westminster Energy Forum and adviser to NRI, chaired the event and opened proceedings with a brief overview of why COP26 is a pivotal moment in the history of global fossil fuel emissions. He explained that the massive growth in electricity demand needed to decarbonise the heat and transport sectors called for a huge increase in nuclear capacity, particularly in emerging economies where six-fold energy growth is required.
NRI and Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) Chairman Dr Tim Stone followed by pointing out that existing policy won’t be enough to realise this change. He argued that time is of the essence and markets alone cannot be relied upon to deliver the necessary progress. Dr Stone felt that governments had to start seriously considering now the nature of the world’s ideal energy system in 2050 and work backwards from there in order to fully understand the roadmap needed to guide the world to that destination and at the appropriate scale.
Dr Mina Golshan, Deputy Chief Inspector and Director at the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), then addressed the ONR’s current challenges. Chief among these was decommissioning, which she revealed may be handled by a separate organisation in the future. Dr Golshan also highlighted the ONR’s need to keep abreast of technological developments so that, for example, it can simplify the regulatory burden for designers of SMRs/AMRs.
The remainder of the webinar focused on the current state of nuclear fusion and regulatory requirements, inviting four speakers with particular insight to offer their views on the topic.
Paul Methven, Director of STEP at UK Atomic Energy Authority, stressed that the UK will only remain a world leader in fusion if a number of criteria are satisfied: it needs to be the most attractive country in the world for fusion research and delivery; it should offer a supportive regulatory and operating environment; and the government should be vocal about fusion, support exports of fusion equipment and develop a policy that includes fusion as a low-carbon part of the energy mix.
Giving his personal opinion on the regulation of fusion, Prof. Laurence Williams, from the Centre for Nuclear Engineering at Imperial College London, outlined the issues caused by fusion not currently being covered by a specific regulatory framework. Aside from the challenges for developers and operators, he also underlined investor concerns about fusion being linked to nuclear safety regulation even though it presents far less of a safety risk than fission. Prof. Williams felt that non-nuclear regulators have the capability to regulate fusion power plants, but will need greater technical skills and training to do so. This is vital, as the industry needs to be able to explain the hazards as transparently as possible in order to instil public confidence in fusion as a technology.
Stéphane Calpena, Safety & Quality Department Deputy Head at ITER, provided his perspective on the safety of fusion. He delineated the extent of the safety risks posed by a number of substances typically found in fusion reactors and concluded by stating that none of them were any higher than the radiation levels usually encountered during “a day’s skiing in the Alps”. Mr Calpena explained why, in the case of ITER, it had been important for it to be classified as a nuclear licensed site and to fall within the scope of the OECD’s Paris Convention. This enabled ITER to provide confidence to the public, as part of ITER’s social licence responsibilities.
The webinar was wrapped up by Gianluca Pisanello, Chief Operating Officer at First Light Fusion, who emphasised the need for fusion to produce as many GWs of output as possible, especially during the 2040s when it is likely to be most required. For Mr Pisanello, fusion is more of a revolutionary technology than simply a disruptive one and he argued for a proportionate approach to regulation across different fusion technologies.
NRI has today published its second Corporate Report on its website here.
“This year’s Corporate Report builds on the success of last year’s inaugural version and aims to bring the NRI to life for its members and clients,” said Mark Popplewell, NRI Managing Director. “At the same time, we wanted to use the latest report to focus on new technologies and set out NRI’s priorities for the year ahead.”
The Corporate Report 2021 details NRI’s vision for the near- and medium-term future, and features new sections highlighting the views of members and international clients, as well as the day-to-day work of NRI employees in Engineering, Underwriting and Finance.
NRI is particularly pleased to have secured an article from Tom Samson, Interim Chief Executive Officer at UK SMR Consortium, which discusses SMRs and the future of nuclear in the UK.
The report also includes articles on the evolution of nuclear fusion and the impact of Brexit.
To read the Corporate Report 2021, please go to the NRI website here.
As a result of travel restrictions introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nuclear Risk Insurers (NRI) has been unable to carry out traditional physical surveys of nuclear power plants (NPPs) for most of 2020 and has instead been conducting surveys remotely.
Dougie Burt, Engineering Surveyor at NRI, has managed remote surveys in South Africa and remotely supported surveys in Canada this year.
Dougie had been due to conduct a physical survey at Koeberg in South Africa in March, but this was cancelled at the last minute due to COVID-19 and prompted a remote survey to be arranged in a matter of days. All the planning for a physical survey had already been done. The plant was entering renewal and NRI was aware of increased risks linked to a delayed steam generator replacement programme, so NRI was keen to carry out a survey to receive updates on plant performance and risk management at the plant.
Following the first remote survey, NRI arranged three quarterly videoconferences for the remainder of 2020 with management and staff at the plant to monitor how they were managing the risk. Discussions are supported by a significant amount of data provided prior to the videoconferences. Although the videoconferences have primarily been concerned with progress updates, they have also helped to cement personal bonds between NRI and the team at Koeberg.
“The frequency of the interaction during videoconferences has led to more personal and closer relationships, which have increased levels of trust,” Dougie comments. “This should improve interactions during the physical survey when we eventually visit the site, hopefully sometime early next year.”
The Canadian surveys have proven to be more straightforward, due to extensive preparations, a local presence and survey lead in Canada, provided by colleagues from Nuclear Insurance Association of Canada (NIAC), combined with the familiarity that both NIAC and NRI engineers have with Canadian sites as regular visitors during scheduled surveys. Both Canadian surveys assess the changing risk profile introduced by modifications taking place to support life extension programmes.
In the case of Bruce, these are related to the plant’s ongoing Main Component Replacement (MCR) programme, while Darlington is affected by changes introduced as part of its Refurbishment Project. Both programmes involve extended shutdowns of individual reactor plants and the gradual replacement of older systems in eight reactors (four on each site) during scheduled plant outages undertaken from 2016–2029. A comprehensive set of information and data is provided by the Canadian operators for review, prior to the surveys, which promotes further informed dialogue.
Val Martell, Engineering Surveyor at NRI, recently led an international team of surveyors from within the insurance pooling system when she managed a remote survey of the South Ukraine NPP.
“For remote surveys to function correctly, both sides need to make it work,” Val explains. “Fortunately, our Ukrainian colleagues are very thorough when preparing for surveys and always keen to make them successful.”
The Ukrainian team provided detailed information in advance, which the survey team, in turn, was able to review and reply to with questions aimed at assessing how well risk was being managed at the plant; these could then be further discussed during the remote survey.
Had there been existing concerns about the plant going through a particular operational change, a remote survey might not have been appropriate. But as it visits one of the four NPPs in Ukraine each year, NRI is very familiar with each site and there were no significant concerns about the South Ukraine NPP.
Engineering Sub-Committee (ESC) of the Nuclear Insurance Pooling system
NRI’s engineers are in touch regularly with colleagues in other Pools to share experiences of adapting to the challenge of survey restrictions and the changed ways of carrying out insurance risk assessments. Val Martell represents NRI on the ESC and comments: “It has been really constructive for us to be able to learn from each other. NRI contributes to best practice by identifying the things that have gone well for us, as well as being able to adopt good ideas and suggestions via the international ESC community of nuclear risk engineers”.
The ESC has now developed a framework so that if international travel is not possible, a physical survey can be carried out by domestic surveyors only, such as in the case of China. In countries where there are no domestic engineers, or at sites where non-essential visitors are not allowed, remote surveys are the best solution and have been shown during 2020 to be effective. This will be important in 2021 as COVID-19 restrictions continue to be in place.
NRI is a global leader in nuclear insurance and a member of the international nuclear insurance pooling system. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with company news and industry commentary.