Artificial Intelligence

On a soft grey background is a photo of a human brain with different patterns of lines drawn across each half of the brain; The right half shows neuron connections in a human brain (a natural neural network).  The left half shows a circuit board pattern, representing artificial neural networks.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the fastest-growing technologies globally and has the potential to enhance decisionmaking processes for the nuclear industry by providing insights into vast amounts of data generated during the design and operation of nuclear facilities. As a result, the nuclear industry has expressed a growing interest in researching and using AI technologies to improve operational performance and mitigate operational risk.

The NRC is committed to continue to keep pace with technological innovations to ensure the safe and secure use of AI in NRC-regulated activities.

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What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is defined as a machine-based system that can go beyond defined results and scenarios and has the ability to emulate human-like perception, cognition, planning, learning, communication, or physical action. For a given set of human-defined objectives, AI can make predictions, recommendations, or decisions influencing real or virtual environments (adapted from the National Defense Authorization Act (2021)). 


What is the NRC’s AI Strategic Plan?

The NRC’s AI Strategic Plan, covering fiscal years (FY) 2023–2027, establishes the vision and goals for the NRC to continue to improve its skills and capabilities to review and evaluate the application of AI to NRC-regulated activities, maintain awareness of technological innovations, and ensure the safe and secure use of AI in NRC-regulated activities.

The strategic plan includes five strategic goals:

  • Ensure NRC readiness for regulatory decision-making.
  • Establish organizational framework to review AI applications.
  • Strengthen and expand AI partnerships.
  • Cultivate and AI proficient workforce.
  • Pursue use cases to build an AI foundation across the NRC.
The overall goal of the AI Strategic Plan is to ensure the staff’s readiness to effectively and efficiently review and evaluate the use of AI in NRC-regulated activities.

Federal Register Notice

The public comment period for the NRC’s Fiscal Years (FY) 2023-2027 Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategic Plan ended on August 19, 2022 (see FRN). The NRC has collected input on the overall strategy as well as the agency’s strategic goals presented in NUREG-2261 “Artificial Intelligence Strategic Plan: Fiscal Year 2023-2027”, actions to realize those strategic goals, potential challenges in achieving the outlined goals, and how to address key challenges and external factors. Furthermore, the NRC staff held a public webinar on August 3, 2022, to receive additional comments on the draft Artificial Intelligence Strategic Plan. The information gathered will be used to inform the development of the NRC’s FY 2023-2027 AI Strategic Plan.


AI Public Workshops

The NRC hosted a series of Data Science and AI Regulatory Applications Public Workshops in June, August, and November 2021 to provide a forum for the NRC, nuclear industry, and stakeholders to discuss the state of knowledge and research activities related to data science and AI and their application in the nuclear industry.  At these workshops, the NRC worked with internal and external stakeholders to identify the benefits and risks associated with the use of AI in regulatory activities and discussed ongoing and planned projects in the nuclear industry. Based on feedback from these workshops, the nuclear industry could start deploying AI in nuclear applications in the near future.

The NRC plans to host additional workshops in FY 2023. For more details, please visit Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Regulatory Applications Workshops.

Contact Us

If you have questions about artificial intelligence, please see our Contact Us form.


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, August 23, 2022