The modern safety case for nuclear energy
This month’s Nuclear News takes a look at nuclear’s reliability as an energy source, along with its contributions to the overall resiliency of our electricity grid. Capacity factors in the U.S. remain at an all-time high, and nuclear’s strength in maintaining a functional electricity distribution system in times of stress, whether by storm or war, is gaining public acceptance and appreciation.
Earlier this spring, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission hosted its first in-person Regulatory Information Conference (RIC) since the onset of COVID. Though well organized and informative, it was easy to sense the frustration of attendees—over things like the stringency of the NRC’s proposed Part 53 regulatory framework for advanced reactors and the perceived lack of preparedness for the coming onslaught of license applications. There was a general sense, as one friend put it, that the commission is “wrapped around the axle of administrative procedures and precedents.”