The U.S. NRC headquarters.
The staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently released a draft white paper outlining strategies for streamlining microreactor licensing. The paper is to be used to facilitate discussion at an upcoming advanced reactor stakeholder public meeting.
“This paper,” the document emphasizes, “has not been subject to NRC management and legal reviews and approvals, and its contents are subject to change and should not be interpreted as official agency positions.”
A rendering of Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation’s micro modular reactor as proposed for construction on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. (Graphic: USNC)
The U.S. state with more nuclear power plants than any other—Illinois—has no operating university research reactors. A team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) intends to reverse that situation and construct a high-temperature gas-cooled microreactor. If the team's plans go ahead, the first new U.S. university research reactor deployment in about 30 years could also support commercial advanced reactor deployment.
The MARVEL reactor concept with Stirling engines. (Image: DOE)
Artist’s rendering of the MMR project. (Image: USNC)
Global First Power’s (GFP) Micro Modular Reactor (MMR) project has moved to the formal license review phase with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), becoming the first small modular reactor to do so.