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As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools become more widely adopted in various products and industries, the NRC has begun studying what roles these technologies can play in commercial nuclear power operations. On April 21, as part of its study, the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research requested public comments on the role of these technologies “in the various phases of nuclear power generation operational experience and plant management.”
In a rare legal challenge related to fees the NRC charges nuclear licensees for its services, the US Court of Federal Claims recently held that the costs of certain NRC services provided in connection with Confirmatory Orders (COs) are not recoverable via hourly bills to individual licensees.
The times they are a-changin’ and we need to change with them. Colloquially speaking, this is the overarching theme of SECY-18-0060, “Achieving Modern Risk-Informed Regulation,” an NRC Staff-authored paper that seeks Commission approval of several significant proposed revisions to the NRC’s regulatory framework.

Section 50.59 of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s regulations allows a nuclear power plant to make changes related to its updated final safety analysis report (UFSAR) without a license amendment, provided the changes do not trip any of the eight criteria in 10 CFR 50.59(c). The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) has issued guidance (NEI 96-07) for implementing 10 CFR 50.59, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) endorsed that guidance in Regulatory Guide 1.187.