In recent decades, the nuclear industry has become increasingly global, with companies and technologies flowing across borders. An early provision in nuclear law limits the ability of US allies to invest in nuclear innovation in the US. Repealing that provision, or allowing an exception for close allies, can unlock financing and other collaborations to enable the US nuclear sector to remain globally competitive.

This report identifies some of the challenges that have been apparent in NEPA reviews of commercial nuclear energy projects. It makes several policy and operational recommendations that would support more efficient review for first-of-a-kind advanced nuclear demonstration projects while still protecting the environment. 

This report provides guidance on how advanced reactor vendors can define interface requirements between portions of a plant design when using the “standard design approval” process to seek Nuclear Regulatory Commission review of a major portion of their design. This facilitates a modular and staged approach to licensing that can be useful for some advanced nuclear programs. This report builds on prior NIA work to identify the opportunity associated with the standard design approval process and to provide guidance on how to exercise it.

NASA's commercial development programs have helped nurture a U.S. commercial launch industry. This report evaluates the successes of NASA's COTS program to identify potential lessons for commercializing the advanced nuclear industry. It proposes that DOE establish a similar program to enable federal procurement to drive commercialization.