An early topic in the meeting was related to the status of the advanced reactor generic environmental impact statement and rulemaking. The proposed rule package is publicly available and is with the NRC Commission for review and vote. If the Commission votes to approve, there will be a 75-day public comment period. The rulemaking information can be found in NRC ADAMS (ADAMS Accession Number ML21222A044) and on the NRC Planned Rulemaking Activities website. The following status and rulemaking schedule was provided during the meeting:
The NRC discussed draft interim staff guidance (ISG) for the safety review of light-water power reactor construction permit applications (DNRL-ISG-2022-XX). The guidance was recently noticed in the Feder Register for soliciting public comment (86 FR 71101). The NRC developed the ISG in anticipation of the submission of construction permit applications. The NRC last reviewed and issued a light-water power-reactor construction permit in the 1970s as more recent submissions used the one-step process in 10 CFR Part 52 (combined licenses). The interim staff guidance supplements existing guidance in the NRC’s Standard Review Plan (NUREG-0800).
The NRC then discussed NUREG/CR-7289, Nuclear Data Assessment for Advanced Reactors. This report summarizes the key nuclear data considering the most important nuclear reactions in the fuel and in various material for the moderator, coolant, and structure of the considered advanced reactors (e.g., high temperature gas-cooled reactor, molten salt reactor, sodium-cooled fast reactors).
The NRC provided an update on the staff’s activities related to advanced manufacturing technologies. These technologies have not been traditionally used in the US nuclear industry and are not yet been formally standardized (e.g., laser powder bed fusion, electron beam welding). There are various potential applications for these manufacturing technologies (e.g., the fabrication of the NuScale reactor vessel or reactor upper head). The NRC has an action plan related to these activities.