Advanced Nuclear Working Group


Chair: Jeff Merrifield, Pillsbury
Vice-Chair: Peter Hastings, Kairos Power
Senior Fellow: Cyril Draffin, USNIC

Mission Statement

The USNIC Advanced Nuclear Working Group actively supports the development,
demonstration, regulation, and deployment of multiple Advanced Nuclear technologies,
with focus on fission nuclear reactors and nuclear fuels, and consideration of fusion
energy. Advanced nuclear energy can be a key provider of clean energy in both the
electric utility and industrial sectors by the 2030s, and have a national and international
impact on reducing carbon emissions. To enhance knowledge and understanding, the
USNIC Advanced Nuclear Working Group proactively addresses technology, regulatory,
government, and market issues affecting the deployment of these advanced
technologies -- and facilitates presentations, conferences, position papers, and
meetings for industry, government agencies, citizens, and potential customers.
Recognizing the growing importance of regulation of advanced nuclear reactors, the
Part 53 Task Force was established as a component of the Advanced Nuclear Working

Working Group Scope of Interest

• Development and deployment of Advanced Reactors, including nuclear Non-Light
Water Reactors, Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), and Microreactors— almost all key
new nuclear developers are USNIC members.
• Evaluation and support for nuclear applications in the oil and gas, chemical, steel, and
other industrial sectors (including for process steam and heat), as well as for data and
Artificial Intelligence centers.
• Regulatory issues for Advanced Reactors (coordinating with U.S Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC), Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, United Kingdom Office of
Nuclear Regulation, and European and other international nuclear regulators; as well as
World Nuclear Association, American Nuclear Society, Nuclear Innovation Alliance,
Nuclear Energy Institute, ClearPath, Third Way, and other non-governmental
organizations)— including on safety, environmental, and export topics.
• Demonstration and technology support programs for Advanced Nuclear by
U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense, and international
• U.S. and international electrical power, industrial, and commercial market
planning for advanced nuclear deployment—including for hydrogen and chemicals, and
coal to nuclear plants— and considering financing and market incentives
• Nuclear fuels including HALEU (High Assay Low Enriched Uranium), TRISO (TRi-structural ISOtropic particle fuel), advanced fuels for Light-Water Reactors (LWR) and
non LWR reactors, and fuel fabrication.
• Follow fusion energy developments (including technology development and demonstration, regulatory issues, and potential market applications).
• Coordination with other USNIC Working Groups:
·International & Finance Working Group–financing of advanced nuclear, international advanced nuclear commercial markets, joint efforts with World Nuclear
Association/IAEA, and USNIC international trade missions.
·Fuel Cycle (Front End and Back End) Working Groups – HALEU and other fuels, non-proliferation, and enrichment/deconversion/fabrication.
·Space and Emerging Technologies Working Group – space and other applications for nuclear energy.
·Advanced Manufacturing, Construction and Decommissioning Working Group–construction licensing regulations, workforce development, and supply chain issues.

Working Group Activities

• Monthly member meetings
• Stakeholder input at NRC Advanced Reactor Stakeholder meetings, an to other
• Annual USNIC Advanced Reactor Summits (USNIC Advanced Reactors Summit XI
2024 held in Houston, Texas; 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina; 2022 in Idaho; 2021
virtual; 2020 in Knoxville, Tennessee)
• USNIC “Integrating Nuclear Solutions for Petrochemical and Industrial Needs”
workshop held in Houston, Texas in 2024
• Member surveys on advanced nuclear
• Presentations and position papers for government agencies and industrial users
• Meeting notes and breaking news to USNIC members
• Advanced Nuclear Working Group has over 100 members

Part 53 Task Force

The USNIC Part 53 Task Force was established in 2020 as a component of the
Advanced Nuclear Working Group. The mission of the Part 53 Task Force is to address
issues regarding the NRC’s planned 10 CFR Part 53 rulemaking for “Licensing and
Regulation of Advanced Nuclear Reactors” so that it can be a useful and efficient
licensing path for Advanced Reactor developers. The Part 53 Task Force is focused on
NRC plans to develop a technology-inclusive, risk-informed regulatory framework that
provides predictability, stability, and flexibility to accommodate diverse technologies.

Part 53 Task Force Activities

• Meetings in advance of USNIC Part 53 presentations, and submissions to the NRC
and the NRC Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS)’s Future Plant
Designs Subcommittee Meeting— keeping up with current NRC thinking and proposed
language for Part 53 and other key regulatory changes
• Comments and presentations to NRC in public meetings and targeted discussions to
highlight industry’s positions on proposed rule language and its potential impacts for
licensing advanced reactors— in coordination with other nuclear organizations.
• Meeting notes and breaking news to Task Force members.