Statement by

The U.S. Nuclear Industry Council


Emergency Planning Requirements for Advanced Reactor Technologies


May 1, 2020

For a viable future, the U.S. advanced nuclear industry needs emergency planning requirements based on the improved safety characteristics of the new generation of advanced reactor technologies and the reduced radiation source term presented by these designs.  An approach that could apply the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) modernized emergency planning requirements at the site boundary of these reactors would be fully protective of public health and safety, and allow advanced reactors to be regulated like industrial facilities that have similar levels of risk.  


The U.S. Nuclear Industry Council's (USNIC) advanced reactor developers believe the site boundary is the appropriate Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) based on the characteristics of their technologies. The ongoing NRC Emergency Planning rulemaking, which signals a policy recognition of the need for alternative risk-informed bases to determine the EPZ size for new nuclear technologies including small modular reactors and microreactors, and the approved TVA Clinch River Early Site Permit that contains a methodology to determine plume-exposure EPZ sizing, are two important NRC actions for these developers. We support the NRC's approach to establish EPZs that, when appropriate, can be the site boundary consistent with the methodology used for Clinch River Early Site Permit and the circumstances of the site.


USNIC supports NuScale's approach to establishing appropriately risk-informed requirements for their prospective customers to submit applications to construct and operate NuScale nuclear power plants.  We understand the NRC will do their due diligence on NuScale’s EPZ Sizing Methodology Topical Report, which was discussed by NuScale with the NRC on April 15, 2020. NuScale’s methodology appears consistent with the recent Commission's decision on Clinch River, and with the ongoing NRC Emergency Planning rulemaking.


Congress has encouraged the NRC to modernize its regulatory framework to facilitate the licensing of new reactor technologies, particularly through recognition of their enhanced safety features and reduced radiation terms.  The NRC Emergency Planning rulemaking, NRC's approval of Clinch River's Early Site Permit, and review of NuScale's methodology are encouraging developments toward a modernized regulatory framework for advanced reactors.


USNIC is the leading U.S. business advocate for increased nuclear energy use and global deployment of U.S. advanced nuclear technologies and services. USNIC represents over 80 companies engaged in nuclear innovation and supply chain development, including technology developers, manufacturers, construction engineers, key utility movers, and service providers.



Hon. Bud Albright                                          

President & CEO

U.S. Nuclear Industry Council

Hon. Jeff Merrifield

Chair, Advanced Nuclear Task Force

U.S. Nuclear Industry Council


For more information Contact: 

Caleb Ward (202-270-1690 |




Please note that while these views represent the consensus of the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council, they do not necessarily represent the views of individual member companies.



T: 202-332-8155

F: 202-783-4353 

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