Full Title: Nuclear Power: NRC Needs to Take Additional Actions to Prepare to License Advanced Reactors
Author(s): U.S. Government Accountability Office
Publisher(s): U.S. Government Accountability Office
Publication Date: July 27, 2023
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Our nation’s demand for energy is expected to grow in the coming decades. To address this demand, Congress has supported the development of advanced nuclear reactors. NRC officials anticipate receiving a significant increase in the number of applications for advanced reactors in the next several years. However, because NRC’s regulations and licensing processes have been used to evaluate existing nuclear reactor technologies, NRC is in the process of making changes to license advanced reactors.
GAO was asked to review NRC’s preparedness to review applications for advanced nuclear reactors. This report examines (1) NRC’s actions to modify its licensing process to include advanced reactors and (2) the extent to which modifications to NRC’s licensing process have prepared the agency to review advanced reactors. GAO reviewed statutes, NRC regulations and guidance; analyzed NRC documentation on the modifications to its licensing process; interviewed NRC officials; and interviewed a nongeneralizable sample of 17 stakeholders.