NRC-DOE Joint Initiative - Non-LWR Design Criteria

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Publication of Regulatory Guide 1.232

On April 3, 2018, the NRC issued "Regulatory Guide (RG) 1.232, "Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Non-Light-Water Reactors," along with the "Public Comment Resolution Table." This final regulatory guide was published in the Federal Register on April 9, 2018.

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Purpose of RG 1.232

The NRC issued this regulatory guide 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.

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Background

In July 2013, the U.S. 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 document "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 1330, "Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Non-Light Water Reactors" for formal public comment in the Federal Register on February 3, 2017. The 60-day public comment period closed on April 4, 2017. The NRC considered the public comments and held a public meeting for further discussion on August 24, 2017. The staff considered the public comments and stakeholder interactions in preparing the final RG 1.232.

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Meetings with External Stakeholders

The NRC held the following meetings with external stakeholders on this initiative.

Date Description
08/24/17

Public Meeting on Non-LWR Design Criteria

10/11/16

Public Meeting on Non-LWR Design Criteria

02/25/15

Non-Public Seminar Modular HTGR Technology and Safety Design Approach

02/18/15

Non-Public Seminar Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) Technology and Safety Overview

01/21/15

Public Meeting to Discuss the DOE Report, "Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Advanced (Non-Light Water) Reactors."

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Documents and Correspondence between NRC and the U.S. Department of Energy

The NRC and DOE exchanged the following documents and correspondence on this initiative.

Date Description
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.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 31, 2022