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Research Highlight

Advanced Reactor Licensing

Topic: Nuclear Science and Technology

George Flanagan, Randy Belles, Mike Muhlheim, and Mike Poore with other team members from Idaho National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory, developed initial drafts of advanced reactor design criteria (i.e., non-light water reactors) that were featured heavily in the recently issued U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) draft regulatory guide (DG), DG-1330, “Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Non-Light Water Reactors.” This proposed new regulatory guide (RG), now out for public comment, is to provide guidance for developing principal design criteria (PDC) to designers, applicants, and licensees of advanced reactors. The PDC establish the design, fabrication, construction, testing, and performance requirements for structures, systems, and components that provide reasonable assurance that the facility can be operated safely. In support of a DOE-NRC joint initiative, the multi-lab team collectively developed initial advanced reactor design criteria for advanced reactors. The advanced reactor design criteria are intended to be technology-neutral and, therefore, could apply to any type of non-LWR design. In addition to the technology neutral criteria, Flanagan, Belles, Poore, and Tanju Sofu from ANL developed initial design criteria specifically for sodium-cooled fast reactors. The INL team developed initial design criteria for modular high-temperature gas-cooled reactors.

After receiving and responding to public comment and review by the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards the NRC is expected to issue the final RG by the end of 2017.