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Regulatory Support 

Through GAIN, DOE, in close coordination with NRC, will provide nuclear technology developers with licensing support. While this will take a variety of forms and continue to evolve as technologies mature, a few initial actions are listed below.

Navigating NRC's Light Water Reactor (LWR) Centric General Design Criteria 

DOE and NRC are engaged in a joint initiative to address key challenges faced by advanced (non-LWR) technologies when navigating NRC's LWR-centric General Design Criteria requirements during their design, licensing, construction, and testing efforts. The guidance being developed in this initiative is intended to provide a number of benefits, including: 

  • Reducing regulatory uncertainty for advanced reactor innovators and developers,
  • Addressing design innovations that pursue enhanced nuclear safety, and
  • Improving licensing timeliness and efficiency for both license applicants and NRC staff

DOE has proposed content and technical basis for this adaptive design criteria guidance based on national laboratory and industry stakeholder inputs. NRC staff recently completed its review of this proposal and released d​raft Regulatory Guide content for public comment.  This initial public comment period is now closed, and NRC expects to commence a series of public meetings for additional industry input later in 2016, followed by formal issuance of the Regulatory Guide in 2017.  Draft design criteria details are available on NRC's website at  ​​

Summary of First Workshop on Advanced Non-Light Water Reactors

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy hosted a two-day workshop on advanced non-light water reactors (LWR's) Sept. 1-2, at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center. The workshop included senior officials from NRC and DOE along with speakers, panelists and participants from industry, the national laboratories and other nongovernment organizations. The speakers provided information on past advanced non-light water reactor experience, roles and responsibilities, existing policies and current regulatory initiatives. Panelists and participants identified and proposed potential near and long-term improvements for advanced reactor research gaps and regulatory challenges. ​


Convening Second Workshop on Advanced Non-Light Water Reactors  

The NRC and DOE will hold the Second Advanced Non-Light Water Reactors Workshop in spring 2016.   The purpose of the workshop is to explore options for increased efficiency, from both a technical and regulatory perspective, in the safe development and deployment of innovative reactor technologies. This includes examining both near-term and longer-term opportunities to test, demonstrate and construct prototype advanced reactors and evaluate the most appropriate licensing processes.

NRC-DOE Advanced Non-Light Water Reactors Workshop​​