Press Release
Nuclear Innovation Alliance
December 2021

WASHINGTON (December 15th, 2021) - Today the Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA) released a new report, “Promoting Efficient NRC Advanced Reactor Licensing Reviews to Enable Rapid Decarbonization.” In this report, the NIA explores how the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Industry can make advanced reactor licensing both more effective and more efficient. Unnecessarily long licensing reviews raise significant barriers to investment, reduce customer interest in advanced reactors, and threaten successful long-term deployment of advanced nuclear reactors. 

NIA Executive Director Judi Greenwald provided the following statement on the relevance of this new NIA work to ongoing regulatory innovation:

“Historically, NRC often takes five years or more to conduct a license review and make a safety determination for a large light water reactor (LWR) application. This length of time reflects both the engineering complexity of such large LWRs as well as the length of the LWR project lifecycle. Simpler, smaller, and even safer advanced reactors would benefit from more efficient and effective licensing reviews. Shorter reviews enable business models that reduce costs and meet the public’s need for clean energy. We recommend actions that both NRC and industry can take to reduce licensing durations while continuing to ensure safety.

“Emerging factors, especially the growing concern about climate change, signal that advanced reactors are needed as soon as possible. Recognizing the recent bipartisan support in Congress for advanced nuclear innovation, the NRC and advanced nuclear industry should drive rapid advanced nuclear deployment by re-imagining advanced nuclear reactor licensing. The keys to success will depend on a sense of urgency, maintaining safety standards, and improving both industry applications and NRC regulatory processes.”

To read the report, visit the NIA website here: Promoting Efficient NRC Advanced Reactor Licensing Reviews to Enable Rapid Decarbonization

The report was released in a virtual webinar moderated by former NRC Commissioner and current Third Way Fellow Stephen Burns and featuring NIA Project Manager Alex Gilbert and Hogan Lovells Global Energy Practice Chair Amy Roma. The recording can be accessed here: Video

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About NIA

The Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA) is a non-profit think-and-do-tank working to enable nuclear power as a global solution to mitigate climate change. Through policy analysis, research, and education, we are catalyzing the next era of nuclear energy. Our organization is funded primarily through charitable grants and philanthropic donations from climate-concerned individuals and organizations.