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NRC and CNSC Indicate Interesting Time For Industry Innovating Itself

Posted by AnnMarie Fauske on 09.03.19

Per the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's August 15th's announcement, "NRC and CNSC Sign Historic Memorandum to Enhance Technical Reviews of Advanced/Small Modular Reactor Technologies":

Nuclear plant steam plumeThe U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission today signed a historic Memorandum of Cooperation for both agencies to increase regulatory effectiveness through collaborative work on the technical reviews of advanced reactor and small modular reactor technologies.

The memorandum represents a uniquely important step in both countries’ strong commitment to a more effective, efficient, and timely analysis of next-generation technologies, and both agencies’ safety and security mission. The NRC and CNSC are building on the joint Memorandum of Understanding signed in August 2017, accelerating efforts to realize innovation in the review of advanced reactor and small modular reactor technology concepts.

“Today’s signing of this memorandum further shapes our commitment to open and transformative thinking with our Canadian partners, enhancing our willingness to work together on matters of advanced nuclear power safety developments while increasing regulatory effectiveness,” said NRC Chairman Kristine L. Svinicki. “Advanced technologies are emerging at a rapid pace, demanding that regulators keep in step with modernization initiatives and the technologies of the future.”

“Globally, interest and advances in small modular and advanced reactors are growing rapidly. The CNSC and the U.S. NRC are working together as regulatory leaders to ensure the development and deployment of these innovative technologies are done safely and efficiently,” said CNSC President and Chief Executive Officer Rumina Velshi. “The signing of this memorandum further strengthens our long-standing history of collaboration with our U.S. counterparts and ensures the effectiveness and efficiency of our regulatory oversight for the future.”

The MOC is the first of its kind between the U.S. and Canadian regulators on matters involving nuclear power development. Svinicki and Velshi announced in June that the two agencies would begin exploring enhanced bilateral cooperation through joint regulatory reviews of developing nuclear technologies, to include advanced reactors and small modular reactors.

According to the MOC, both the NRC and CNSC will work under the previously established steering committee to immediately begin developing the infrastructure needed to share and evaluate cooperative opportunities and best practices in the analysis of advanced reactor and small modular reactor designs. The MOC underscores the readiness of the U.S. NRC and CNSC to increase collaboration and facilitate joint technical reviews of advanced reactor and small modular reactor designs to ensure safety and support each agency’s regulatory decisions."

Per Dr. Wison Luangdilok, Senior Consulting Engineer for Fauske & Associates LLC, “Nuclear energy faces an uncertain future in the United States as the fuel is beset by fierce competition from natural gas and renewable energy in many markets as well as a failure to deliver new nuclear plant construction projects on time and on budget. The signing of this historic memorandum between the US NRC and CNSC indicates that it is an interesting time for the industry that is innovating itself with advanced technology that is presumably safe, simple and competitive.”

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Topics: nuclear safety, nuclear power

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