The Atomic Energy Act retains an outdated restriction that prohibits foreign ownership, control or domination (FOCD) of commercial reactor licenses. Foreign companies have been able to make substantial investments in US commercial reactor assets, but because of the current restriction, they are effectively required to partner with a US company that exercises “control” over the assets.
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At a meeting on June 1, the NRC and industry representatives agreed to pursue a revised definition of operability of those structures, systems, and components (SSCs) addressed in the technical specifications (TS) for nuclear power plants.
On May 23, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice inviting comments on the interplay between state policy goals and organized wholesale electricity markets. The referenced state policy goals involve state support for zero-carbon-emitting power plants, including nuclear power plants, generally in the form of tax credits.
Like any other business, nuclear utilities and their employees may be exposed to potential cyberattacks targeting important information technology systems.
As confirmed by an April 21, 2017 Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board report, the Department of Energy (DOE) initiated the first in a series of long-awaited shipments of liquid Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU or target residue material) from Ontario, Canada’s Chalk River reactor to DOE’s Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina. The target residue material stems from the legacy Atoms for Peace program, where the United States provided HEU for use, in part, as target material to be irradiated for the production of medical isotopes in foreign research reactors.
On May 12, 2017, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or Commission) approved criteria proposed by the NRC staff in October 2016 relating to changes to the Reactor Oversight Process (ROP).
Classified information is slowly creeping into the day-to-day operations of businesses that have never before needed to comply with the strict requirements that accompany this information. And the questions being asked do not have intuitive answers: Can you refuse to hire an applicant who was arrested for drunk driving if the job requires obtaining a security clearance and accessing classified information?
The British government has determined that its exit from the European Union also must include withdrawal from the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).