New proposals by the US nuclear industry call for talks with regulators aimed at introducing a safety-focused regulatory framework‚ for all new nuclear power plants, regardless of the technology involved.
The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) said that its White Paper: "A risk-informed, performance-based regulatory framework for power reactors", was sent to the US NRC. The NEI said: "Unlike current regulations, the new framework does not focus on a single reactor technology. It would be applicable to all types of reactor designs, including light water, gas-cooled and liquid metal reactors." The White Paper recommends a completely new part of the Code of Federal Regulations be developed as an alternative set of regulations for commercial power reactors. NEI added: "The inclusion of specific language is designed to emphasise the policy and technical issues involved, rather than serve as a definitive industry position on the content of the new part." The proposed regulations are a mixture of the latest probabilistic safety assessment technology, operating experience, historic regulatory requirements and new technical information. The resulting framework is designed to provide the same standard of protection for the public and the environment as current regulations, as well as a more effective, efficient and safety-focused means of licensing and regulating new plants.