(SMR) Licensing Insights

Rhode Island
Nuclear Science
Dr. Cameron Goodwin
RINSC Reactor
• Owned by the State
• 2 MW pool type nuclear reactor
• Located on the Bay Campus of
• Used for research, education,
and industry services
RINSC Facilities
• Six beam tubes for neutron
• One tangential thru tube
• A thermal column for thermal
neutron use
• Gamma ray experiment facilities
• Two pneumatic tube systems for
activation analysis
• A flux trap & adjacent core
locations for long irradiations
Past and Current Uses
• High Level Gamma Irradiation
o Solar Radiation Experiments
• Neutron Scattering
o Materials Studies
o Protein Studies
• Neutron Activation Analysis
o Atmospheric Chemistry
o Cell Tracking / BioMed
• BioPal
o Kidney Failure Diagnostics
• Educational
Providence College
Three Rivers Community College
High Schools
SMR Licensing
What is a SMR?
• Advanced Reactors
o Those reactors whose designs are not similar to the LLW designs
o SMR is a subset
• Small modular reactor
• Less than 300 MW
• SMRs are envisioned to require limited on-site preparation and
substantially reduce the lengthy construction times that are typical of
the larger units.
• Additional modules can be added incrementally as demand for
energy increases.
• Includes iPWR but is not limited to
o Other designs
Benefits of SMRs
• SMRs offer the advantage of lower initial capital
investment, scalability, and siting flexibility at
locations unable to accommodate more traditional
larger reactors.
Lower Capital Investment
Siting Flexibility
Gain Efficiency
Benefits Cont’d
• Nonproliferation: SMRs also provide safety and
potential nonproliferation benefits to the United
States and the wider international community.
o Most built below grade for safety and security enhancements, addressing
vulnerabilities to both sabotage and natural phenomena hazard
o Some designed to operate for extended periods without refueling.
• International Marketplace: There is both a domestic
and international market for SMRs.
iPWR SMR Designs
mPower Design
mPower Review
• DOE FOA Award
o Awarded to the mPower America team of Babcock & Wilcox, Tennessee
Valley Authority, and Bechtel, includes efforts to complete design
certifications, site characterization, licensing, first-of-a-kind engineering
activities, and the associated NRC review processes.
o The goal of this program is to support commercial operations of an SMR by
2022; the mPower team has developed a plan that expects to achieve a
commercial operation date of October 2021.
• Key Activities for the mPower America team include:
o Submit Design Certification application to the NRC by mid-2014 for approval
by 2018
o Perform site characterization at TVA’s Clinch River Site
o Submit a Construction Permit Application to the NRC by mid-2015 for approval
by 2018
o Advance the balance of plant design
o Grow the U.S. based supply chain by mitigating challenges to domestic market
entry and broad commercialization
mPower and the NRC
• Pre-application interactions
o Public meetings monthly
• NRC is working on a Design Specific Review
Standard (DSRS)
o Draft is completed
o Final will be completed by time of application
o This process compared the mPower design with the current SRP and
allowed the NRC reviewers to note differences
o Chapter 7 completely revised and restructured;
• Intended to promote efficient, effective risk-informed reviews
• Top-down approach where greater emphasis is placed on design
principles – redundancy, independence, diversity and defense-indepth, predictability and repeatability
• Part 50 – Clinch River
Westinghouse Design
Westinghouse SMR
• Competing for 2nd FOA
o No announcement as of yet
• Review expected to begin 2nd Qtr 2014
o Westinghouse will be relying on SRP
• Design is smaller version of AP1000
o This could increase length of review
• Pre-application interactions have ramped up since
Summer 2013
NuScale Review
Competing for 2nd DOE FOA
Application expected 3rd Qtr 2015
NRC is currently working on developing Draft DSRS
Many public meetings are being held for preapplication
• Biggest hurdle for design is Control Room Staffing
Holtec Review
• Applied for 2nd DOE FOA
• Expected 4th Qtr CY16
• Limited pre-application interactions at this time
NRC’s Advanced Reactor
• Focused on preparing the agency for reviews of
applications related to the design, construction and
operation of advanced reactors
o Identify and resolve significant policy, technical and licensing
o Develop the regulatory framework to support efficient and timely
licensing reviews
o Engage in research focused on key areas to support licensing
o Engage reactor designers, potential applicants, industry and DOE
in meaningful pre-application interactions
o Establish an advanced reactors training curriculum for NRC staff
o Remain cognizant of international developments and programs
Known SMR Licensing
• Emergency Planning
o Source term
o Security
• Control Room Staffing
o Control of multiple units
o Reactor Operator Requirements
o Control Room Design/Layout
• Identification of shared systems
o How to employ PRA
o Implementation of control system architectures
• Licensing of construction and operation of subsequent
modules with operating modules
• Annual Fees
• Modularity
Pre-Application Licensing
• Level of design information available in pre-application
o Ideal
• Design complete enough to inform all review sections
o Reality
• Varying levels of design completion for each review section
• Potential efficiency gains in review process by working
activities in pre-application phase
• Review process aided by improved documentation in
applications (e.g., fewer RAIs)
• More knowledge about the design
• Earlier engagement of public stakeholders in the review
• Vendor participation required for success
Non-LWR Work
• Aging workforce at NRC
o Little to no non-LWR experience
• NGNP Review
o ADAMS Accession No. ML13002A157
o Final NRC feedback addresses
• Licensing basis event selection
o Naming conventions for event categories
o Frequency cutoffs for DBE and BDBE regions
o Proposed process and categorization
• Mechanistic Source terms
o DOE/INL’s proposed mechanistic approach is consistent with
NRC Commission approved positions
Non-LWRs Cont’d
• Containment functional performance
o NRC staff stated that more fuel testing needed to be performed
• Emergency preparedness
o The NRC staff is open to considering alternative treatment of EP
for advanced reactors
• Review of GIF SFR Design Criteria
• Generic GDCs
o Since GDCs in Appendix A are specific to light-water reactors (LWRs), this
requirement is especially challenging for potential future licensing
applicants pursuing advanced (non-LWR) technologies and designs.
o DOE-NE and NRC agree that consideration should be given to pursuing
the following objective:
• Develop generic GDCs (derived from Appendix A of 10 CFR 50) and
develop technology-specific GDCs for at least one reactor type (TBD)
to supplement the generic GDCs for compliance with 10 CFR 50.34.,
52.47 and 52.79.
Who to Contact at NRC?
• SMRs are handled by the Office of New Reactors
o Division of Advanced Reactors and Regulations – Mike Mayfield
o Split into two branches
• Stu Magruder
o [email protected]
• Anna Bradford
o [email protected]
• Electronic Distribution of SMR Documents
o http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/listserver.html

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