United States: How to Review Advanced Reactors Designs?

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Draft rules released last week for how the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will in the future review and license advanced reactor and small modular reactor (SMR) designs would allow vendors to choose between two regulatory pathways: one more innovative approach based on probabilistic risk assessments, and the other a more traditional deterministic approach. In initial industry feedback this week, however, it appears that vendors may be more comfortable with the deterministic approach than with the innovative oversight option that policymakers — and certain industry voices — were pushing for when they legislated for the NRC to develop this new licensing approach for advanced reactors called Part 53.

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