Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards Centers of Expertise

The Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards (NMSS) has embraced and leveraged the COE structure to encourage innovation, improve workload distribution, enable collaboration, facilitate knowledge transfer, and enhance agility. NMSS maintains three centers of expertise (COE) that provide project management and technical expertise for the agency’s rulemaking, environmental, and financial assessment activities. Each COE develops, maintains, and implements the agencywide policy, guidance, and training needed to conduct its regulatory functions. 
The first COE established in NMSS in November 2017, as directed by the Commission in the staff requirements memorandum for SECY-15-0143, "Project AIM and Centers of Expertise," centralized the NRC’s rulemaking program. The success of this endeavor led the NRC to establish COEs for Environmental and Financial expertise in 2019.

Below are links to pages across the site on the NMSS Centers of Expertise.

Rulemaking COE

This COE manages rulemaking projects to develop and revise requirements for new, advanced, and operating reactors; materials facilities and the processing, transport, and handling of nuclear materials, including uranium recovery activities and the fuel used in commercial nuclear reactors; and agency practice and procedure. The Rulemaking COE also develops regulatory analyses for rules and other regulatory decisions.

Rulemaking COE activities

Environmental COE

This COE performs environmental reviews of agency licensing actions required by the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and other statutes to support NRC’s new, advanced, and operating reactors; non-power utilization facilities; and nuclear materials, including production of nuclear fuel used in commercial nuclear reactors. The Environmental COE reviews licensing actions for storage, transportation, and disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel and facilities undergoing decommissioning. The Environmental COE consults with other Federal agencies to ensure that federally protected ecological resources, such as endangered species, essential fish habitat and national marine sanctuaries, are protected. The Environmental COE also consults with State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, Indian Tribes, and other interested parties concerning historic and cultural resources.

Environmental COE activities

Financial COE

This COE performs reviews for NRC licensing actions
and ensures regulatory compliance with financial qualifications
and decommissioning funding assurance requirements.
The financial COE prepares safety evaluations for both nuclear
material and reactor licensees (including power reactor and
research and test reactors), including: applications
for new facilities, actions associated with license transfers,
and exemption requests in which financial qualifications
and decommissioning funding assurance requirements for
licensees are assessed. The financial COE also ensures
compliance with foreign ownership, control, or domination
(FOCD) regulations and power reactor financial protection
requirements in the form of insurance and indemnity coverage.

Financial COE Activities