Press Release
Nuclear Innovation Alliance
March 1st, 2023

WASHINGTON D.C. The Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA) shared the following statements on the release today of their newest report, “Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards.” This new publication, developed in partnership with former Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Jeffrey S. Merrifield of Pillsbury, follows NIA's December 2021 Report examining how the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and industry can make advanced reactor licensing both more effective and more efficient while ensuring safety.

NIA Executive Director Judi Greenwald provided the following statement on the relevance of this work to ongoing efforts to help modernize NRC regulation of advanced nuclear energy:

“Safe, effective and efficient licensing is essential to the successful deployment of advanced nuclear reactors to support the clean energy transition, improve energy security, and enable rapid decarbonization. The ACRS has played a valuable role in ensuring the safe deployment of new nuclear reactors in the United States through the NRC’s licensing review process, and can continue to do so if it modernizes its processes and practices. We hope that implementing recommendations in this report will help ACRS do its job more effectively and efficiently while continuing to perform its important function as independent advisors to the NRC.”

Jeffrey S. Merrifield, one of the co-authors who is a Partner at Pillsbury and is a former NRC Commissioner (1998-2007) shared the following comment:

“We recognize the important role that ACRS has played in independently advising the Commissioners of the NRC on the safety of reactor designs.  Given the bow wave of subsequent license renewals, power uprate applications and future license applications, we think it is critically important that the ACRS focus on the more complex and novel reactor licensing issues that come before the Agency.  We also believe that the Committee would benefit from an organizational renewal to include a more diverse set of ACRS members.  This change would enhance the value of ACRS to the Commission and the Agency given the wide range of new technologies which the NRC will have to grapple with over the coming years.”

To read the full report, visit the NIA website here: Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (link provided here)

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.