2014–2015 New Reactor Program (NUREG/BR-0476, Volume 4)
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Date Published: March 2015
Office of New Reactors
U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001
A Message from the Director
Over the past year, the Office of New Reactors (NRO) and its partner offices continued to meet the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) mission of protecting public health and safety while enabling the safe, secure, and environmentally responsible use of nuclear power in meeting the Nation’s future energy needs. NRO and our New Reactor Program partners remain agile, proactive, and vigilant in safely overseeing licensing, vendor and construction activities, new developments in the small modular reactor and advanced reactor arena, and emerging global interests in our dynamic environment.
In 2014, the New Reactor Program successfully executed the safe closure of its highest priority projects – an initiative that provided us with clear objectives and timeliness goals, while enabling us to maintain our steadfast focus on safety and complete these crucial tasks. This was accomplished amidst continued environmental volatility resulting from budget uncertainty and fluid applicant business decisions.
Our pivotal accomplishments include: the NRC certification of the ESBWR (Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor) design; the completion of the Fermi 3 safety evaluation; careful oversight of construction at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4, located in Georgia, and the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3, in South Carolina, and Watts Bar Unit 2 in Tennessee; the comprehensive and timely reviews of license amendment requests supporting ongoing safe construction at Vogtle and Summer; the Lee final and PSEG draft environmental impact statements; and the initial APR1400 acceptance review, decision and follow-up.
We continue to bolster our regulatory posture for small modular reactor and advanced reactor licensing activities, including pre-application interactions with potential applicants, developing the necessary infrastructure, and addressing policy issues. We foster our robust international rapport with regulatory counterparts worldwide, while sustaining global leadership of the Multinational Design Evaluation Program.
Amidst this flurry of activity, we emphasize the importance of identifying and implementing lessons learned and planning strategically for the challenges that lie ahead. In any and all of these endeavors, we maintain an agency focus and recognize the significant 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 Reactor Regulation, the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, the Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response, the Office of Enforcement, the Office of Investigations, the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, and the agency’s corporate offices.
Now in its 5th year, this annual review serves as a vital communication venue in our ongoing efforts to engage our diverse stakeholders about the latest activities and accomplishments of the New Reactor Program. While the challenges and opportunities that await us may vary, our mission and top priority of safety remains steadfast. In cooperation with our partner offices, the Office of New Reactors continues to be poised to lead the agency’s safety mission in meeting the Nation’s future energy needs.
Glenn M. Tracy
Office of New Reactors