NRC seeks comments on language for proposed advanced reactor rulemaking

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is requesting public input on preliminary language for a proposed rule that would set out a risk-informed, technology-inclusive framework for the licensing and regulation of advanced nuclear reactors, according to a notice published in the November 6 Federal Register.

The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act, or NEIMA, signed into law in January 2019, tasked the agency with developing a regulatory infrastructure for the development and commercialization of advanced reactors.

Feature Article

Risk-informed, performance-based safety: Past, present, and future

Since the 1980s, the nuclear power industry in the United States has worked to enhance the regulatory framework for nuclear facilities by making it more risk-informed and performance-based (RIPB). This has had some success in improving safety and reducing regulatory burden by focusing resources on the most risk--significant areas and allowing greater flexibility in choosing ways to achieve desired safety outcomes. However, there are further opportunities for the use of RIPB approaches in addressing current regulations and applying implementation tools, and in developing new RIPB regulations and advanced tools to further sharpen the focus on risk and performance outcomes.

Feature Story

The nexus between safety and operational performance

Nuclear power plant performance includes both operational and safety aspects and is an outcome of numerous elements, such as the reliability of equipment, reduction in challenges to plant operations, protection of workers, and proficiency of operations. These elements are inextricably linked to each other and to the safety of each facility. In short, a well-run plant is a safe plant for the workers and the public, and a well-run plant is an efficient plant. By-products of high performance include improved regulatory performance, worker safety, plant reliability, and, most important, public health and safety.