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Friday, February 23, 2024

NRC Provides Emergency Preparedness Flexibility for SMRs and Advanced Reactors

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a final rule and associated regulatory guide providing an alternative avenue for small modular reactors (SMRs) and advanced reactors to satisfy emergency preparedness requirements. The long-anticipated rulemaking allows SMRs and advanced reactor license applicants to develop performance-based emergency preparedness programs instead of using the current prescriptive offsite radiological emergency planning requirements originally designed for large light-water reactors (LWRs).

This rule becomes effective on December 18, 2023. The NRC concurrently issued an associated regulatory guide, Regulatory Guide 1.242, Performance-Based Emergency Preparedness for Small Modular Reactors, Non-Light-Water Reactors, and Non-Power Production or Utilization Facilities.

The final rule creates alternative emergency preparedness requirements for SMRs and advanced reactors that “continue to provide reasonable assurance” of public health and safety while “promot[ing] regulatory stability, predictability, and clarity.” The shift to a performance-based model “recognize[s] advances in design and technology advancements embedded in design features” and “safety enhancements in evolutionary and passive systems” of these reactor types in planning for and responding to potential accidents.

Read the rest of the story at Morgan Lewis, here.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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