2013 New Reactor Program (NUREG/BR-0476)
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Date Published: March 2014
Office of New Reactors
U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001
A Message from the Director
This past year can best be characterized as one of focus, flexibility, and continued progress for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) New Reactor Program. The program made strides amidst the unsteadiness that resulted from budget turbulence and applicant business decisions.
In 2013, the Office of New Reactors (NRO) and its partner offices continued to steadfastly support the agency’s responsibility of ensuring U.S. public health and safety while enabling the safe, secure, and environmentally responsible use of nuclear power in meeting the Nation’s future energy needs. This included diligently overseeing the construction of Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4, in Georgia, and Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3, in South Carolina—the first-ever combined licenses (COLs) issued—as well as construction at Watts Bar Unit 2 in Tennessee.
During increasingly uncertain times, we remained agile in meeting the goals of the New Reactor Program while safely managing vendor and construction inspections, initiatives in advanced reactors, and a growing level of international interest and cooperation. As in years past, we achieved our safe and timely outcomes consistent with agency values and our philosophy of innovation with dedication. In addition, the Office of New Reactors performed two comprehensive self assessments to evaluate the NRC’s licensing and inspection requirements, policies, procedures, and practices during review of the first COLs and the first year of post combined license implementation of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 52, “Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants.” The implementation of the program enhancements and lessons learned from these assessments are underway.
The 2013 New Reactor Program annual review highlights the diverse array of activities undertaken and showcases the resilience and dedication of our employees to manage a myriad of projects toward safe closure. During 2013, this workload included: construction oversight; inspections of manufacturers and suppliers of safety components; safety and environmental reviews for design certifications and combined license applications; license amendments; verification of the first inspections, tests, analyses, and acceptance criteria closure notifications; the completion of the first design specific review standards for a small modular reactor; and final environmental impact statements for the Lee and Fermi COLs. We recognize the many contributions made by our partner offices supporting the New Reactor Program. These include Region II, the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response, the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, the Office of Enforcement, the Office of Investigations, and the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards.
The fourth edition of our annual review provides us with another venue to communicate with key stakeholders by sharing information about the 2013 activities of the New Reactor Program. We hope you find our reflection on 2013 experiences, activities, and accomplishments informative and enlightening. The Office of New Reactors and its partners stand ready to fulfill the agency’s safety mission in meeting the Nation’s future energy needs.
Glenn M. Tracy
Office of New Reactors