June 15, 2017

PNNL Partnership with Nuclear Regulatory Commission Highlighted by Annual Meeting

Environmental Infrastructure Program Meeting looks to streamline review process and accelerate new reactor licensing


Representatives from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission visited PNNL in early June 2017.

Several representatives from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission(Offsite link) (NRC) visited Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA in early June 2017. The Offices of New Reactors, Nuclear Reactor Regulation, and Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards met with PNNL staff and leadership to discuss ways to streamline the environmental review process, ultimately accelerating the licensing of new nuclear reactors.

Researchers at PNNL have nearly four decades of experience in supporting the licensing of new nuclear reactors in the United States. Having successfully led(Offsite link) the NRC environmental review of Watts Bar 2—the first new operating license in 20 years—staff are now leading the review for Tennessee Valley Authority’s Clinch River small modular reactor site.

Based on outcomes of the meeting, the PNNL team will work with NRC to:

  • Identify areas for NRC process improvements and make recommendations for process improvements
  • Capture knowledge and experience of departing staff and lessons learned
  • Identify future challenges in advanced reactor licensing and develop suggested path forward

The summer 2018 meeting will also be held at PNNL.

Key Capabilities


About PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on its distinguishing strengths in chemistry, Earth sciences, biology and data science to advance scientific knowledge and address challenges in sustainable energy and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science. For more information on PNNL, visit PNNL's News Center. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Published: June 15, 2017