The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in early May issued a notice seeking comments on a new draft regulatory guide impacting advanced reactor licensing. Draft Regulatory Guide (DG) 1353 (DG-1353) focuses on using a technology-inclusive, risk-informed, and performance-based methodology to inform the licensing basis and content of applications for non-light-water reactors.  It is related to the industry-led Licensing Modernization Project and endorses the principles and methodologies developed under that project as one method for determining the appropriate scope of an NRC license application.  These principles and methodologies are largely embodied in NEI 18-04, Risk-Informed Performance-Based Guidance for Non-Light Water Reactor Licensing Basis Development.

Since the issuance of NRC Vision and Strategy: Safely Achieving Effective and Efficient Non-Light Water reactor Mission Readiness in 2016, the NRC has been actively working to develop guidance for a flexible regulatory review process for advanced reactors. DG-1353 advances that goal. It provides direction to developers and other applicants who are trying to navigate the regulatory review process, and it encourages them to consider regulatory review early in their development processes.

Comments on DG-1353 must be submitted by July 2, 2019. The NRC plans to issue the final regulatory guide in late 2019.