The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Poland’s National Atomic Energy Agency (PAA - Panstwowa Agencja Atomistyki), have renewed their cooperation agreement for a further five years. The cooperation will include exchanging information on Westinghouse’s large AP1000 and GE Hitachi’s BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) designs.
NRC Chair Christopher Hanson said: “We’re eager to provide what we’ve learned in certifying and licensing the AP1000s at the Vogtle site in Georgia. We’ll continue sharing information as we move from pre-application work to a full review of the BWRX-300 for US use. This cooperation with Poland expands on our existing technical collaboration on small modular and advanced reactor designs with our Canadian counterparts.”
The NRC’s cooperation with the PAA began in 2010, when the first bilateral arrangement between the two agencies was signed. This is one of more than 50 bilateral agreements the NRC has signed with overseas regulatory counterparts over the past 40 years to exchange technical and regulatory information to improve nuclear safety.
The new agreement was signed by the heads of both institutions during a bilateral meeting in Washington. “We not only continue, but also strengthen our cooperation with the American regulator, which has been going on for 13 years,” PAA President Andrzej Glowacki. “NRC is a very important partner for us, especially in the context of the construction programme in Poland of its first using American technology”.
The agreement assumes cooperation between PAA and NRC in various fields including:
- exchange of technical information,
- activities related to new technologies, such as advanced reactors and SMRs,
- nuclear safety research,
- training and employee participation in individual projects.
PAA said the most important activities will focus in the area of training and exchange of technical information. “PAA and NRC will continue several months of internships for Polish experts in the United States. Last year, 12 employees of the Agency and the Office of Technical Inspection benefited from this form of training In 2022, trainees were able to observe the commissioning tests of the AP1000 reactors at units 3&4 at the US Vogtle NPP. The organisation of workshops on nuclear safety policy and licensing processes is also planned.
Image: The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Poland's nuclear regulator, the National Atomic Energy Agency have renewed their cooperation agreement for the next five years (courtesy of www.gov.pl)