Up & Atom

The Commissioners of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conducted a biennial joint meeting on January 25, 2024. The biennial meetings allow the Commissioners to hear presentations from industry experts, learn about the challenges facing the energy industry, and determine how the commissions can assist each other based on their respective regulatory authorities.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a final rule and associated regulatory guide providing an alternative avenue for small modular reactors (SMRs) and advanced reactors to satisfy emergency preparedness requirements. The long-anticipated rulemaking allows SMRs and advanced reactor license applicants to develop performance-based emergency preparedness programs instead of using the current prescriptive offsite radiological emergency planning requirements originally designed for large light-water reactors (LWRs).
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has announced that it intends to issue, by the end of 2023, the final rule and associated regulatory guide that sets emergency preparedness requirements for new reactors. The rulemaking will allow small modular reactor (SMR) and advanced reactor license applicants to develop performance-based emergency preparedness programs as an alternative to the current offsite radiological emergency planning requirements. This rulemaking is a significant development toward providing flexibility in meeting the NRC’s emergency preparedness requirements.
The NRC has now followed up on that guidance with revisions to RG 5.83, “Cybersecurity Event Notifications (Revision 1),” to address new cybersecurity concerns, provide clarification, and align with new guidance in RG 5.71. This guidance is critical for the nuclear industry given the rapid pace at which cybersecurity threats and deterrent strategies evolve. All nuclear power reactor owners must review NRC’s latest guidance and confirm that their cybersecurity programs are in compliance.
After 13 years, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued revised guidance for cybersecurity programs for nuclear power reactors. All nuclear power reactor owners must review the NRC’s latest guidance and confirm their cybersecurity programs are in compliance.
On December 8, the NRC issued Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS) 2022-03 detailing its plans regarding the use of “Information-Sharing Agreements” to share controlled unclassified information (CUI) with non-executive branch entities. The NRC is targeting the summer of 2023 to begin establishing formal agreements with NRC licensees, applicants, certificate of compliance (CoC) holders, agreement state radiation control program directors, state liaison officers, and tribes.
The NRC held a public meeting on March 4 to discuss the issuance for public comment of draft regulatory guide (DG) DG-5061, Revision 1, Cyber Security Programs for Nuclear Power Reactors. DG-5061, Revision 1 would revise Regulatory Guide (RG) 5.71, which provides NRC licensees with guidance on meeting the cybersecurity requirements described in Section 73.54 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, “Protection of digital computer and communication systems and networks.”
The Commission recently issued SRM-SECY-19-0100, in which it disapproved, by a 2-to-1 vote, a request made by the NRC staff that sought approval to discontinue the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) Security Requirements rulemaking and deny a related petition for rulemaking filed by C-10 Research and Education Foundation Inc.
On December 10, the NRC staff issued SECY-21-0105 seeking approval from the NRC commissioners to publish a notice of final rule that would officially replace the NRC's sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (SUNSI) program with a Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) program. The new rules would appear in 10 CFR Part 2, "Agency Rules of Practice and Procedure," and be consistent with the government-wide rules on CUI in 32 CFR Part 2002.
Several years ago, the US government embarked on a project to standardize federal agency programs—including the NRC’s—for managing unclassified-but-sensitive information. At the NRC, this government-wide Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) program is intended to replace the agency’s Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI) program.