Standards Development

The NRC works with standards organizations to develop consensus standards associated with systems, equipment, or materials used by the nuclear industry. A standard contains technical requirements and recommended practices for performance of any device, apparatus, system, or phenomenon associated with a specific field. For example, the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers develops standards associated with electrical products, and the American Concrete Institute develops standards associated with concrete products. These standards discuss the characteristics, performance, safety requirements, and use of these products.

Development. A standards organization is a domestic or international voluntary consensus body that usually forms committees to develop consensus standards. Typically, a standards committee includes technical experts from utilities, vendors, and, if invited, Government agencies.

Recognizing that participation in standards development improves the effectiveness and efficiency of the regulatory process, Federal law stipulates that agencies--

  • authorize participants to act as agency representatives
  • use standards developed by a consensus body unless such use is inconsistent with applicable law or is otherwise impractical
  • name a senior level manager as the agency's Standards Executive responsible for coordinating the agency's standards activities

Improving Communications with Standards Organizations. NRC has an agency policy governing NRC's standards activities. The policy requires periodic training of staff involved with standards activities. It states how NRC will improve communication with standards organizations and reduce the time it takes to endorse a standard. It describes when and how NRC may develop and use a Government-unique standard rather than a consensus standard. The NRC Standards Executive is responsible for implementation of the agency policy. The Standards Executive is Michele Sampson, Director, Division of Engineering, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research.

See the following for more information on Standards Development.