Advanced Reactors (non-LWR designs)
Advanced Reactor Activities
- Non-LWR Vision and Strategy and Implementation Action Plans
- NRC-DOE Joint Advanced Reactor Licensing Initiative
- Advanced Reactor Workshops
- Periodic Stakeholder Meetings
- Related Documents
- Past Non-LWR Activities and Pre-application Safety Evaluation Reports
Non-LWR Vision and Strategy and Implementation Action Plans
As the NRC prepares to review and regulate a new generation of non-light water reactors, a coherent vision and strategy is needed to assure NRC readiness to efficiently and effectively conduct its mission for these technologies. On January 3, 2017, the NRC issued its "Vision and Strategy for Safely Achieving Effective and Efficient Non-Light Water Reactor Mission Readiness." The vision and strategy described in this report, once executed, will achieve the goal of assuring NRC readiness to effectively and efficiently review and regulate advanced reactors.
The NRC is also preparing implementation action plans (IAPs) to identify the specific activities the NRC will conduct in the near-term (0-5 years), mid-term (5-10 years) and long-term (beyond 10 years) timeframes to achieve non-LWR readiness. In the fall of 2016, the NRC released Volume 1 and Volume 2 its draft near-term IAPs to obtain stakeholder feedback. The staff will release mid- and long-term IAPs in early 2017.
NRC-DOE Joint Advanced Reactor Licensing Initiative
In July 2013, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the NRC established a joint initiative to address a key portion of the licensing framework essential to advanced reactor technologies. The initiative addresses the "General Design Criteria for Nuclear Power Plants," Appendix A to 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 50, which were developed primarily for LWRs, by adapting them to the needs of advanced reactor design and licensing. The initiative is being accomplished in two phases. Phase 1, completed by DOE, consisted of reviews, analyses and evaluations resulting in a report issued by the DOE in December 2014 titled, "Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Advanced (Non-Light Water) Reactors." Phase 2 of the initiative, managed by the NRC, involved review of the Phase 1 DOE work products issuance of regulatory guidance resulting from the review. On April 7, 2016, the NRC issued the, "Draft - Advanced Non-LWR Design Criteria - April 2016," for informal public comment. The informal public comment period closed on June 8, 2016. After consideration of stakeholder input, the NRC issued draft regulatory guide DG-1330, "Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Non-Light Water Reactors" for formal public comment. DG-1330 was published in the Federal Register on February 3, 2017, and the comment period closes on April 3, 2017. The NRC plans to issue a final regulatory guide at the end of 2017.
The issuance of this new NRC regulatory guidance is expected to provide the following benefits:
- reduced regulatory uncertainty for advanced reactor developers,
- improved guidance for NRC staff reviewing advanced reactor license applications, and
- improved timeliness and efficiency of licensing activities for both applicants and NRC staff.
The following table lists the meetings that NRC has conducted with external stakeholders in connection with the initiative:
Public Meeting on Non-LWR Design Criteria
Non-Public Seminar Modular HTGR Technology and Safety Design Approach
Non-Public Seminar Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) Technology and Safety Overview
Public Meeting to Discuss the DOE Report, "Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Advanced (Non-Light Water) Reactors."
The following table provides access to documents, and correspondence between the NRC and DOE in connection with the initiative:
|09/15/15||Response to NRC Staff Second Set of Questions on the U.S. DOE Report, "Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Advanced Non-Light Water Reactors"|
|08/17/15||Questions on the U.S. Department of Energy Report, "Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Advanced (Non-Light Water) Reactors."|
|07/15/15||Response to NRC Staff Questions on the U.S. Department of Energy Report, "Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Advanced (Non-Light Water) Reactors."|
|06/05/15||NRC Staff Questions on the U.S. Department of Energy Report, "Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Advanced (Non-Light Water) Reactors."|
|01/15/15||NRC Letter to DOE, "Initiative Regarding U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Licensing Strategy for Advanced Reactor Technologies."|
|12/08/14||DOE Letter to NRC, "Joint Initiative Regarding U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Licensing Strategy for Advanced (Non-Light Water) Reactor Technologies."|
|07/09/13||NRC Letter to DOE, "Initiative Regarding U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Licensing Strategy for Advanced Reactor Technologies."|
Updates relative to the Phase 2 portion of the initiative are also available by subscribing to the NRC GovDelivery Subscription service.
Advanced Reactor Workshops
In 2015, the NRC and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) began co-hosting a series of Advanced Reactor Workshops. The first workshop was held on September 1-2, 2015, 2015 and included presentations and discussions on roles and responsibilities of the NRC and DOE, previous experience licensing non-LWR designs, critical gaps and needs in research and development that need to be addressed, and suggestions for improvements in the licensing of non-LWR designs. The second workshop was held on June 7-8, 2016 and focused on exchanging information from NRC, DOE, industry and included presentations and discussions on strategies for advanced reactor development and deployment, recent initiatives; and advanced reactor fuel development, qualification, and challenges. Third workshop will be held on April 25 and 26, 2017.
Periodic Stakeholder Meetings
The NRC has begun a series of periodic stakeholder meetings to discuss non-LWR topics of interest. The following table lists the meetings that NRC has conducted to date in connection with this initiative:
Over the years, a number of Commission papers and Commission Policy statements have been written on various topics related to licensing of advanced reactors. The staff has assembled a collection of these documents spanning from 2001 to the present. The staff has also assembled a list of stakeholder position papers identifying stakeholder documents that communicate opinions to the staff on technical or policy issues.