Policy Issues Associated with Licensing Advanced Reactor Designs

Over the years, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has identified specific policy issues associated with licensing advanced, non-light-water (non-LWR) and LWR reactor designs. These issues are discussed in the documents and public workshop materials assembled on this page:

For additional information, see Commission Policy Documents Related to New Reactors.

Commission Papers and Staff Requirements Memoranda

The following table presents a chronological listing of Commission (SECY) papers and staff requirements memoranda (SRMs) related to licensing advanced reactor designs, with the most recent first.

SECY Title SRM
21-0010 Advanced Reactor Program Status N/A
20-0093 Policy and Licensing Considerations Related to Micro-Reactors N/A
20-0045 Population Related Siting Considerations for Advanced Reactors pending
20-0032 Rulemaking Plan on "Risk Informed, Technology-Inclusive Regulatory Framework for Advanced Reactors (RIN-3150-AK31; NRC-2019-0062)" 10/02/20
20-2020 Results of Exploratory Process for Developing a Generic Environmental Impact Statement for the Construction and Operation of Advanced Nuclear Reactors 09/21/20
20-0010 Advanced Reactor Program Status N/A
19-0117 Technology-Inclusive, Risk-Informed, and Performance-Based Methodology to Inform the Licensing Basis and Content of Applications for Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Non-Light-Water Reactors 05/26/20
19-0009 Advanced Reactor Program Status N/A
18-0103 Proposed Rule: Emergency Preparedness for Small Modular Reactors and Other New Technologies(RIN 3150-AJ68) 12/17/19
18-0096 Functional Containment Performance Criteria for Non-Light-Water-Reactors 12/04/18
18-0076 Options for Physical Security For Light-Water Small Modular Reactors And Non-Light-Water Reactors 11/19/19
18-0011 Advanced Reactor Program Status N/A
16-0069 Rulemaking Plan on Emergency Preparedness for Small Modular Reactors and Other New Technologies 06/22/16
16-0012 Accident Source Terms and Siting for Small Modular Reactors and Non-Light Water Reactors N/A
15-0077 Options for Emergency Preparedness for Small Modular Reactors and Other New Technologies 08/04/15
15-0044 Proposed Variable Annual Fee Structure for Small Modular Reactors 05/15/15
15-0002 Proposed Updates of Licensing Policies Rules, and Guidance for Future New Reactor Applications 09/22/15
14-0095 Status of the Office of New Reactors Readiness to Review Small Modular Reactor Applications N/A
Memo 06/20/14 Status of Mechanistic Source Term Policy Issue for Small Modular Reactors N/A
Memo 01/30/14 Update Regarding Recommendations for Use of Risk Insights for Small Modular Reactor Reviews N/A
13-0124 Policy Options for Merchant (Non-Electric Utility) Plant Financial Qualifications N/A
Memo 05/30/13 Current Status of the Source Term and Emergency Preparedness Policy Issues for Small Modular Reactors N/A
Memo 03/27/13 Staff Assessment of the Manufacturing License Requirements Issue for Small Modular Reactors N/A
Memo 12/29/11 Status of Staff Activities to Address Mechanistic Source Term Methodology and Its Application to Small Modular Reactors N/A
11-0184 Security Regulatory Framework for Certifying, Approving, and Licensing Small Modular Reactors N/A
11-0181 Decommissioning Funding Assurance for Small Modular Reactors N/A
11-0178 Insurance and Liability Regulatory Requirements for Small Modular Reactors N/A
Memo 02/07/11 Resolution of Issue Regarding Variable Annual Fee Structure for Small and Medium Sized Nuclear Power Reactors N/A
11-0156 Feasibility of Including Risk Information in Categorizing Structures, Systems, and Components as Safety-Related and Non Safety-Related 05/11/11
11-0152 Development of an Emergency Planning and Preparedness Framework for Small Modular Reactors N/A
11-0112 Staff Assessment of Selected Small Modular Reactor Issues Identified in SECY-10-0034 N/A
11-0098 Operator Staffing for Small or Multi-Module Nuclear Power Plant Facilities N/A
11-0079 License Structure for Multi-Module Facilities Related to Small Modular Nuclear Power Reactors N/A
11-0024 Use of Risk Insights to Enhance the Safety Focus of Small Modular Reactor Reviews 08/31/10
10-0034 Potential Policy, Licensing, and Key Technical Issues for Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Designs N/A
09-0137 Next Steps for Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Variable Annual Fee Structure for Power Reactors 10/13/09
09-0064 Regulation of Fusion-Based Power Generation Devices 07/16/09
09-0056 Staff Approach Regarding a Risk-Informed and Performance-Based Revision to Part 50 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations and Developing a Policy Statement on Defense-in-Depth for Future Reactors N/A
08-0152 Final Rule- Consideration of Aircraft Impact for New Nuclear Power Reactors (RIN 3150-AI19) 02/17/09
08-0134 Regulatory Structure for Spent Fuel Reprocessing 06/27/07
08-0130 Update Policy Statement on Regulation of Advanced Reactors 03/26/08
07-0167 Revision of Policy Statement on Regulation of Advanced Reactors 03/26/08
07-0101 Staff Recommendations Regarding a Risk-Informed and Performance-Based Revision to 10 CFR Part 50 (RIN 3150-AH81) 09/10/27
07-0074 Update on the Improvements to the Risk-Informed Regulation Implementation Plan N/A
06-0217 Improvement to and Update of the Risk-Informed Regulation Implementation Plan N/A
06-0099 Energy Policy Act of 2005 Implementation Status N/A
06-0007 Staff Plan to Make a Risk-Informed and Performance-Based Revision to 10 CFR Part 50 06/01/06
05-0006 Second Status Paper on the Staff's Proposed Regulatory Structure for New Plant Licensing and Update on Policy Issues Related to New Plant Licensing N/A
05-0006 Appendices Appendix A: Guidance for the Formulation of Performance-Based Requirements N/A
04-0157 Status of Staff's Proposed Regulatory Structure for New Plant Licensing and Potentially New Policy Issues N/A
03-0059 NRC's Advanced Reactor Research Program N/A
03-0047 Policy Issues Related to Licensing Non-Light-Water Reactor Designs 06/26/03
02-0180 Legal and Financial Policy Issues Associated with Licensing New Nuclear Power Plants 03/31/03
02-0139 Plan for Resolving Policy Issues Related to Licensing Non-Light Water Reactor Designs N/A
01-0207 Legal and Financial Issues Related to Exelon's Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) N/A
01-0188 Future Licensing and Inspection Readiness Assessment N/A
01-0007 Plan for Preapplication Activities on the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) 06/19/01
Draft SECY Licensing Approach for Exelon's Pebble Bed Modular Reactor N/A

Policy Statements

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 11, 2021