Regulating Domestically, Thinking Globally
May 31, 2011
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The NRC’s Office of New Reactors is mostly focused on nuclear power in the U.S. But we also have a role to play in the global nuclear regulatory community. For example, we have regular meetings with the nuclear regulators of other countries, where we exchange information on “best practices,” challenges ahead and ways to communicate more effectively. We also participate in conferences around the world where we inform the public and our peers of our activities, and gain valuable insights into the best practices of regulators around the world.
And we support activities that allow us to cooperate with our peer regulators and provide assistance to new regulators organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency, an arm of the United Nations, headquartered in Vienna, and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), a part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, based in Paris.
Meanwhile, we are participating in an important international initiative called the Multinational Design Evaluation Program. The program’s goal is to share information that will strengthen our reactor design reviews. To that end, NRC staffers are working with their contemporaries in other countries on reviewing AREVA’s Evolutionary Power Reactor and Westinghouse’s Advanced Passive 1000 (AP1000) Reactor. These reactor designs are slated to be used by U.S. companies interested in building new reactors.
By sharing this information, the NRC is collaborates directly with regulatory authorities in Canada, China, France, Korea, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom, among others. We also are a significant partner in the Working Group on the Regulation of New Reactors, a relatively new group formed by the Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (part of NEA) to encourage sharing information on licensing new reactors and overseeing their construction.
The bottom line is that NRO is key to keeping important information about nuclear power plants flowing around the world. This sharing of information and experience benefits all the countries that rely on nuclear power for their electricity needs.
Senior Communications Specialist