NRC's Transformation Journey

A silhouette of a person's head made up of many small, colored squares which open up to the rear and spread out on a white, rectangle background; the image represents the NRC's Transformation Journey Focus Area.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has embarked upon a transformation effort to become a modern, risk-informed regulator. NRC is transforming to better inform decisions and prepare for the future.

Video: NRC's Transformation Vision

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Why Does the NRC Need to Transform?

The NRC is transforming to realize our vision of becoming a modern, risk-informed regulator and in the best position to continue meeting our important safety and security mission. Transformation will help the NRC keep pace with the highly dynamic, interconnected environment in which we operate, and to be prepared to regulate an industry that is innovative and has new technologies. Transforming also provides the NRC an opportunity to re-evaluate the way we conduct business to streamline processes and procedures and maximize efficiencies to better serve the American public.

Milestones Along the NRC's Transformation Journey

Initiation of the Futures Assessment

In October 2018, the NRC began the Futures Assessment effort to ensure we continue to effectively meet our mission in a dynamic and evolving future. The Futures Assessment effort used a scenario planning approach to understand the various ways the NRC's external environment could change, how the NRC could be affected, and steps that the NRC could take to be prepared. The results were published in a report in January 2019, "The Dynamic Futures for NRC Mission Areas." The report describes four hypothetical future scenarios in which the NRC might operate in the years 2030 and beyond. NRC employees and external stakeholders provided insights on how each of the future scenarios might impact the NRC's future mission delivery, operations, and people. Having a better idea of potential future scenarios allows the NRC to make better short-term and long-term adjustments, to be increasingly efficient in our work and to make better decisions. In the end, the NRC will be a more effective regulator.

Agency-wide Conversation on the Future

Building on the Futures Assessment, the NRC sought to engage our staff in a strategic conversation about how to best plan and prepare for the future. The conversation was intended to build internal engagement and tap the collective wisdom of the staff to help shape the NRC's transformation strategy.

It was important for the agency-wide conversation to be interactive and open to all NRC employees, regardless of their geographic location. Through research, the staff found that a Jam would be a unique way to engage with staff in a virtual environment using a web-based platform over several days. The virtual nature of a Jam allows for wide-scale participation, while incorporating dynamic two-way communication and collaboration.

The first-ever NRC Futures Jam was held on June 18-20, 2019. Over the course of three days, 73% of the NRC staff signed on to the virtual Jam platform. Over 30% of staff actively participated by posting comments or liking comments from their colleagues. Using real-time analytics, active facilitation, and subsequent data analysis, the staff mined the over 4,000 comments for themes that became the foundation for the NRC's transformation strategy.

NRC Futures Jam
NRC Futures Jam Command Center

Setting the Transformation Vision and Focus Areas

The NRC used the insights from the Futures Assessment and Futures Jam to identify four focus areas for achieving the NRC's transformation vision of being a modern, risk-informed regulator.

  • Our People: We will maintain an engaged and highly skilled workforce now and in the future
  • Be riskSMART: We will make sound decisions while accepting well-managed risks in decisionmaking
  • Using Technology: We will use technology to work smarter, including using data analytics to highlight areas for regulatory attention and improvement
  • Innovation: We will be innovators who make timely decisions that take into account different viewpoints and fully explored options

Each of the four focus areas is supported by one or more transformation initiatives. The initiatives are specific projects, each led by a team of NRC staff, that support the transformation vision and focus areas. The NRC staff provided updates on progress in implementing the transformation initiatives during Commission meetings on October 29, 2019, September 17, 2020, and June 22, 2021.

  • Becoming a Modern, Risk-Informed Regulator (October 2019 Commission Meeting on Transformation – Meeting Materials) Agencywide Documents Access Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML19297F334
  • Becoming a Modern, Risk-Informed Regulator (September 2020 Commission Meeting on Transformation – Meeting Materials) Agencywide Documents Access Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML20255A113
  • Becoming a Modern, Risk-Informed Regulator (June 2021 Commission Meeting on Transformation – Meeting Materials)

The Future is Now: NRC’s Transformation Journey

If you’d like to learn more information about NRC’s transformation journey and hear directly from our staff, please check out this digital exhibit from the 2021 Regulatory Information Conference.

On a black background, in white font, the words: The Future is Now: NRC's Transformation Journey; starting with an 'Assessing the Future' icon, arrows provide the flow to 'Jamming to Prepare' icon, then on to 'Defining the Vision', and then finally to 'Being the Change' icon

NRC External Stakeholder Feedback Survey on Transformation

The NRC is looking for stakeholder feedback on how we’re doing so far on our transformation journey. Do you think we’ve made progress? Are our decisions more timely and of higher quality? Or maybe our progress isn’t what you’d hope for? We want your opinions on how our transformation focus areas have directly contributed to our mission performance, information sharing, quality of decision-making, and timeliness of decision-making based on your recent engagement and interactions with NRC staff. Your input will help us internally assess the impact of our transformation efforts in meeting our mission.

Please take a moment to complete this brief survey. The survey will take you about 10 minutes to complete.

See below to learn more about the NRC's transformation journey and focus areas.


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, April 11, 2022