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 reactors and nuclear fuels, and consideration of fusion reactors. Advanced nuclear energy can be a key provider of clean energy in 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 Group.

Working Group Scope of Interest

• Development and deployment of AdvancedReactors, including nuclear fission Non-Light Water Reactors, Small ModularReactors, and Microreactors
• Regulatory issues for Advanced Reactors (coordinating with U.S NuclearRegulatory Commission (NRC), Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, United KingdomOffice of Nuclear Regulation, and European and other international nuclearregulators; as well as World Nuclear Association, American Nuclear Society,Nuclear Innovation Alliance, Nuclear Energy Institute, and other non-governmentalorganizations)
• Demonstration and technology support programs for Advanced Nuclear byU.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense, and international governments• U.S. and international electrical power andindustrial commercial market planning for advanced nuclear deployment-- includingfor hydrogen and chemicals, and coal to nuclear plants; and consideringfinancing and market incentives
Follow Fusion developments (including technologydevelopment and demonstration, regulatory issues, and potential marketapplications) • Nuclear fuels including HALEU (High AssayLow Enriched Uranium), TRISO (TRi-structuralISOtropic particle fuel), advancedfuels for Light-Water Reactors (LWR) and non LWR reactors, and fuel fabrication
• Coordination with other USNIC Working Groups:
·       International & Finance Working Group–financing of advanced nuclear, international advanced nuclear commercialmarkets, joint efforts with World Nuclear Association/IAEA, and USNIC internationaltrade missions·      FuelCycle Working Group– HALEU and other fuels, non-proliferation, andenrichment/deconversion/fabrication·      Spaceand Emerging Technologies Working Group– space and other applications fornuclear energy·       Advanced Manufacturing, Construction andDecommissioning Working Group–construction licensingregulations, workforce development, and supply chain issues

Working Group Activities

• Monthly member meetings• Stakeholder input at NRC Advanced Reactor Stakeholder meetings
• Annual Advanced Reactor Summits, e.g., 2021 virtual Summit VIII on 23-25 March, and 2020 Summit VII in Knoxville, TN in February attended by over 300 people
• Annual member survey on advanced nuclear
• Presentations and position papers for government agencies
• Meeting notes and breaking news to USNIC members
• Coordinates with Part 53 Task Force
• Advanced Nuclear Working Group has approximately 70 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.
• Drafts comments and makes presentations to NRC Public meetings to highlight industry’s positions on proposed rule language and its potential impacts for licensing advanced reactors.
• Drafts proposed regulatory language and guidance, when appropriate, to suggest alternative approaches to rule structure and minimize unnecessary regulatory burden.
• Keeps up with current NRC thinking and proposed language.
• Meeting notes and breaking news to Task Force members.
• Coordinates with the Nuclear Energy Institute and other industry groups.
• Part 53 Task Force has over 25 members.