NIRAB was established in accordance with Cabinet Office guidance as a “temporary” advisory board, by Ministerial appointment, for a period of up to three years in duration. Its term ran from January 2014 to December 2016. NIRAB’s mission was:
“To ensure that public R&D programmes are aligned to support industrial and energy policy, and to maximise synergy across different aspects of the nuclear sector, including fusion and the NDA portfolio”
The role of NIRAB is set out in terms of reference and can be summarised as follows:
To advise Ministers, Government Departments and Agencies on issues related to nuclear research and innovation in the UK.
To oversee a regular review of the nuclear research and innovation capability, portfolio and capacity in the UK and, in doing so, assess progress against the objectives set out in the Nuclear Industrial Strategy.
To support the development of new specific research and innovation programmes in the UK, underpinning priority policies including energy policy and industrial policy, including developing business cases for such activity.
To foster greater cooperation and coordination across the whole of the UK’s nuclear research and innovation capability, portfolio and capacity and help NIRO to act as a repository of R&D knowledge.
To oversee the development of an international engagement strategy (both bilateral and multilateral) for nuclear research and innovation in the UK.
NIRAB did not have responsibility for managing or delivering R&D programmes or for directing or managing R&D budgets.