Regulating Domestically, Thinking Globally

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.

Bob Jasinski
Senior Communications Specialist

New Reactor Program Annual Review Unveiled

Did you know that by the end of 2010, the NRC had received 18 combined operating license applications to build and operate 28 new reactors? Or that the NRC has issued design certifications for four reactor designs that can be referenced in an application for a nuclear power plant – three from Westinghouse and one from General Electric-Hitachi?

And did you know that NRC inspectors began overseeing construction activities at Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear power plant in 2010 or that the NRC conducts oversight of manufacturers and suppliers of safety-related components to ensure they comply with quality assurance and defect reporting requirements?

The answers to these questions and much more can be found in the first-ever annual review for the NRC’s Office of New Reactors (NRO). The review allows you to keep up with what the agency’s doing with regard to new reactors.

Available in print form and online on the agency’s public web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/brochures/br0476, the annual review is an easy-to-read and informative 40-page publication.

The review includes sections on the office’s three main areas of focus, new reactor licensing, construction oversight and the agency’s Advanced Reactor Program. In addition, the review features an “International Cooperation” section, as well as an “Overview” summary and “A Look Ahead” write-up. It concludes with “At a Glance,” an organizational summary of divisions within the office, their branches and responsibilities.

The publication is complete with photos of NRO employees at work, illustrations of state-of-the-art technology, charts and other graphics. Requests for print copies of the review can be sent to: opa.resource@nrc.gov .

Bob Jasinski
Senior New Reactors Communications Specialist
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