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In January 2007, the NRC formed a digital instrumentation and controls (I&C) steering committee to provide management focus on the NRC regulatory activities in progress across several offices, to interface with the industry on key issues, and to facilitate consistent approaches to resolving technical and regulatory challenges. The members of the steering committee include management representatives from the various NRC offices that have regulatory responsibilities related to digital I&C.
The primary responsibilities of the steering committee are to interface with industry representatives on plans for resolution of digital I&C issues, to oversee and facilitate resolution of technical and regulatory issues related to the deployment of digital I&C, and to ensure effective interoffice coordination on digital I&C issues. In addition, the steering committee interfaces with senior NRC managers, as needed, to facilitate its oversight function.
The steering committee is fulfilling this responsibility in an advisory capacity to the Directors of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR), the Office of New Reactors (NRO), the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards (NMSS), and the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research (RES) in support of the line managers who are responsible and accountable for the implementation of the digital I&C guidance deployment.
Details of the steering committee charter are outlined in the memorandum from Mr. Luis A. Reyes, Executive Director for Operations.
The steering committee has formed the following seven task working groups (TWGs) that focus on key areas of concern:
- Cyber Security
- Diversity and Defense-in-Depth
- Risk-Informed Digital I&C
- Highly-Integrated Control Room - Communications
- Highly-Integrated Control Room - Human Factors
- Licensing Process Issues
- Fuel Cycle Facilities
The TWGs consist of various staff members of NRR, NRO, RES, NSIR, and NMSS. Each TWG is responsible for developing a specific project plan to address the key area of concern. Essentially the plans are to identify and resolve technical issues that will result in more efficient licensing of digital I&C systems for new reactor applications and for retrofits at operating reactors/facilities. The Digital I&C Project Plan defines the problem statements, identifies deliverables, and establishes milestones to resolve the issues and was initially issued on July 12, 2007. Revision 1 of the project plan was issued on March 14, 2008. Revision 2 of the project plan was issued on May 13, 2009.
Coordination of the Task Working Groups that support the Steering Committee is performed by the Project Manager for Digital I & C. Currently, Mr. Shakur Walker is appointed to this position. Previous TWG Directors include Mr. Stewart Bailey, Ms. Patricia Silva, and Ms. Belkys Sosa.
Since the formation of the digital I&C Steering Committee, the committee and its various TWGs have conducted numerous public meetings. The public meetings have been successful in engaging the industry in establishing the Digital I&C Project Plan that addresses specific digital I&C issues. The Project Plan is a living document and continued interaction between TWGs and their industry counterparts will be beneficial for complete res olution of the issues. The digital I&C Steering Committee and TWGs will continue to meet with the industry to achieve the objectives of the Project Plan. These meeting announcements and summaries can be viewed at the Digital I&C Public Meetings webpage.