Senators: NRC files too many RAIs during reactor-license applicant reviews

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) | Contributed photo

U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and John Barrasso (R-WY) recently wrote a letter to Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, asking him to investigate the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) use of requests for additional information (RAIs) when reviewing reactor-license applications, a practice that the senators allege the agency might be employing too often.


 The senators said excessive RAIs can result in "unnecessary increased costs and schedule delays.”


Inhofe serves as chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Capito chairs the EPW’s Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee. The letter said the NRC is meant to use RAIs solely to examine issues with a regulatory basis. The guidance on RAIs also said NRC staff should work to limit themselves to one round of RAIs and that they should only issue the requests if the information isn’t already available.

In the letter, senators bring up earlier concerns raised over RAI overuse in the 1990s and request that the GAO look into how many RAIs the NRC has issued in the past five years and how the agency tracks which RAIs are issued and how they are answered.

Organizations in this story

Nuclear Energy Institute 1201 F St NW D.C., DC 20004

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito 220 North Kanawha Street Beckley, WV 25801

U.S. Senator John Barrasso 100 East B Street Casper, WY 82601

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

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