NIC: NRC's Advanced Reactor regulations impeding development efforts

Courtesy of the European Commission

Jeffrey Merrifield, chairman of the Nuclear Infrastructure Council's (NIC) Advanced Reactor Task Force, encouraged the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to revamp its Advanced Nuclear Reactor (ANR) licensing system during a recent press conference.

Merrifield cited energy security, environmental and competitive reasons why ANR research and development should be a priority.

Merrifield and the NIC offered several suggestions to improve the current licensing process, including a requirement that the NRC complete a licensing review within the next 36 months, and said the NRC's current regulatory system has been hindering technological advancements.

“The current framework of U.S. government policy, legislation, regulation and requirements, research and development support and fee-based licensing is more aligned with past development efforts than what is needed for the future to commercialize a new generation of Advanced Reactors," Merrifield said. “This is particularly true of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing process, which presents one of the largest risk factors confronting private developers of Advanced Reactors, as it does not accommodate a staged investment approach as the technology development and licensing risks are addressed and resolved.”

Organizations in this story

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP 1540 Broadway New York, NY 10036

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 11545 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 20852

United States Nuclear Infrastructure Council 1317 F St NW Washington, DC 20004

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