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Nuclear Regulatory Commission Charts a Path Forward on Part 53

Adam Stein and Leigh Anne Lloveras of The Breakthrough Institute report on the NRC’s path forward on Part 53.

The C3 Take
  • In 2019 Congress directed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to create a new risk-informed, technology-neutral licensing pathway for advanced reactors called Part 53.
  •  In 2022, the NRC staff released a draft version of Part 53 which was essentially a copy and paste of the current regulations that stifle innovation and increase costs.
  • NRC commissioners have directed the staff to revise and release an updated proposed rule that would take a more scientific, risk-informed approach to radiation and public health.

“Today, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) released its votes and instructions for the initial draft of Part 53. The Part 53 rule should be predictable, flexible, scalable, and enable innovation. The Commission’s decision on the draft Part 53 is a step in the right direction. The Staff Requirements Memorandum (SRM) addresses many of the key concerns of stakeholders. In doing so, the Commission may have taken a draft rule that was unlikely to be used, and set it on a path to be a modern performance-based pathway for licensing new reactors.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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