The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) chairman Nils Diaz said that the agency was “eagerly awaiting” an application to build a new nuclear plant in the USA. Diaz said that the nuclear industry could be assured that there would be “no delay” in dealing with any such application.

“We know the importance of a regulatory framework that can authorise the development of a new reactor,” he added.

He also pointed out that, despite additional work for regulators in the wake of heightened security concerns in the USA, his agency remained “very much on top” of the range of regulatory issues concerning nuclear facilities. He said: “We have not been diverted from the process of early site reviews, power uprate applications and the everyday issues that we need to look at.”