The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission have completed the first collaborative project under a two-year-old memorandum of cooperation (MOC) aimed at enhancing technical reviews of advanced reactor and small modular reactor technologies, the CNSC announced earlier this week.
The project, a 23-page joint report from the regulators on a white paper submitted last July by X-energy regarding reactor pressure vessel (RPV) construction code specifications for the company’s Xe-100 SMR, was released to the public on August 6. The Xe-100 is an 80-MWe unit that can be scaled into a “four-pack” 320-MWe power plant, according to X-energy.
The report concludes that X-energy’s proposed approach for the design and fabrication of the Xe-100 RPV is viable, provided that the company “includes the additional technical justification requested in this report and addresses both regulators’ observations documented in this report. The proposed approach could be used to establish criteria for the Xe-100 design and fabrication of the RPV.”
X-citement: “The entire team at X-energy and our Canadian licensing team at Kinectrics were excited to participate in the first joint review activity completed under this memorandum,” said Travis Chapman, head of U.S. licensing at X-energy. “The experience we’ve gained working with both regulators is incredibly valuable, and we appreciate the opportunity to implement practices that lead to more efficient reviews based on the shared insights from the regulators.”
MOC 1: A first of its kind between U.S. and Canadian regulators on nuclear power development, the MOC was signed on August 15, 2019 (NN, Sept. 2019, p. 7). Inking the agreement for Canada was Rumina Velshi, the CNSC’s president and chief executive officer, and for the United States, Kristine Svinicki, the then chairman of the NRC.
“Globally, interest and advances in small modular and advanced reactors are growing rapidly,” Velshi noted at the time. “The CNSC and the U.S. NRC are working together as regulatory leaders to ensure the development and deployment of these innovative technologies are done safely and efficiently. The signing of this memorandum further strengthens our long-standing history of collaboration with our U.S. counterparts and ensures the effectiveness and efficiency of our regulatory oversight for the future.”
Svinicki said that the memorandum “further shapes our commitment to open and transformative thinking with our Canadian partners, enhancing our willingness to work together on matters of advanced nuclear power safety developments while increasing regulatory effectiveness.”