On December 7, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published a Proposed Evaluation Policy Statement (the “Proposed Policy Statement”) that seeks public comment regarding the NRC’s use of evidence for many non-adjudicatory agency actions such as licensing, oversight, rulemaking, and others.

The Proposed Policy Statement is driven by a statutory mandate from the 2018 Foundations for

On October 13, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded X-energy and TerraPower $80M each for their respective initiatives to build advanced nuclear reactors.

The proposals were evaluated under the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP), a new endeavor in the Office of Nuclear Energy. According to Dr. Rita Baranwal, the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear

On September 21, 2020, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) voted to develop and codify a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for the construction and operation of advanced nuclear reactors through a technology-neutral, plant parameter envelope (PPE) approach.  GEISs have the potential to materially reduce the licensing burden on NRC advanced reactor applicants, given that environmental

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. 

Yesterday the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published its proposed rule to revise its Emergency Preparedness (EP) requirements for small modular reactors (SMRs) and other new technologies (ONT, such as advanced reactors). Comments for the proposed rule and accompanying guidance are due on July 27, 2020.

These amendments have been a long time coming,

Over the past month, there have been major developments related to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) advanced reactor licensing reform and nuclear-related export controls.

Kicking Off New Advanced Reactor Rulemaking

On April 13 the NRC staff published a paper (SECY-20-0032) seeking Commission approval for a rulemaking approach that would create a voluntary framework

Even in these extremely challenging times, advanced reactor innovators are working hard to make the next generation of clean, safe nuclear reactors a reality.  To this end, Oklo Inc. (Oklo) recently applied to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a combined license to construct and operate a non-light water advanced reactor, the “Aurora,” to

The Council on Environmental Quality is proposing major changes to its regulations concerning the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), that if implemented could have impacts on advanced reactor licensing.  These changes, if put into effect, will be among the most monumental revisions to the NEPA process since 1978, and come at a time when the

In time for the Thanksgiving long weekend, we want to draw your attention to a number of interesting reports on advanced reactor developments that have come out over the past couple months:

  • Most recently, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) issued a thoughtful white paper on regulatory and licensing issues for micro-reactors, in advance of the