Several representatives from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (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 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.