Advanced nuclear reactors promising smaller, simpler, and safer nuclear energy are moving closer and closer to commercial reality.  As we recently blogged, Oklo Inc., a California-based company, recently submitted the nation’s first application to construct and operate a non-light water advanced reactor.  In response to this trend, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is exploring

The latter half of May has seen regulatory initiatives benefiting advanced reactors promoted across the government.   The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) affirmed new guidance on non-light water reactor (non-LWR) methodologies, and the Department of Energy (DOE) showed support for a new, streamlined emergency preparedness framework for small modular reactors (SMRs) and new reactor technologies. 

Since 2016, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has been developing a strategy to review future non-light water reactor (non-LWR) technologies.  That year, the NRC published the NRC Vision and Strategy: Safely Achieving Effective and Efficient Non-Light Water Reactor Mission Readiness, which laid out objectives to achieve review and regulation of non-LWRs.  Afterward,

This month, the NRC published an early draft regulatory guide on the content of license applications for non-LWRs.  The document is designed to help license applicants apply the NRC’s movement towards a risk-informed/performance-based regulatory approach towards the drafting of an actual license application.

The document is in part the result of the Southern Company-led Licensing