NRC Updates Policy on Advanced Nuclear Power Plant Design

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has published the latest update to its policy statement on advanced nuclear power plant designs. The policy provides expectations and guidance on safety, security and preparedness-related issues so designers can address them early in the development of advanced reactors.

The policy encourages the earliest possible interactions between the NRC and reactor vendors, potential applicants, the public, and other government agencies.

NRC states that designers should consider several reactor characteristics, including:

  • Highly reliable, less complex safe shutdown systems, particularly ones with inherent or passive safety features.
  • Simplified safety systems that allow more straightforward engineering analysis, operate with fewer operator actions and increase operator comprehension of reactor conditions.
  • Concurrent consideration of safety and security requirements while designing a facility, resulting in an overall security system that requires fewer human actions.
  • Features that prevent a simultaneous breach of containment and loss of core cooling from an aircraft impact, or that inherently delay any radiological release.
  • Features that maintain spent fuel pool integrity following an aircraft impact.

The policy will be available at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/commission/policy.

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    April 2021

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