Review and Evaluation of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Safety Research Program: A Report to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NUREG-1635, Volume 3)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: February 2000
Date Published: March 2000

Advisory Committee on Reactors Safeguards
     with contributions from the
Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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This report is the third annual report by the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safetuards (ACRS) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in which we respond to the Commission's request (Staff Requirements Memorandum dated September 9, 1977) that we evaluate the research being performed by the agency. Our 1998 and 1999 research reports each reviewed activities in about a dozen areas, covering most of the programs identified by the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research (RES).

In this report, we present more of an overview. We examine the internal and external contexts that together determine the needs for research and the corresponding responses of the agency. We discuss how the role of NRC research has evolved and may develop in the future. Along the way, we describe some major issues that the Commission may face and that we believe will require the development of a better knowledge base through appropriate research.

Our 1998 report made several recommendations about how the NRC should conduct its research, one of which was the need to achieve a closer tie between research activities and agency needs. In this report, we make some suggestions about now this goal could be achieved.

In the latter half of the report, we present specific evaluations of research requirements in response to what we view as the more significant of the future issues. This list is not intended to be comprehensive; lack of mention of a research project does not imply an assessment of the value of that project.

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