The Enforcement Angle: New Generation of Nuclear – Advanced Reactors

Join Sidley for the Environmental Law Institute’s People Places Planet Podcast series, “The Enforcement Angle.” Through this series, Sidley lawyers discuss state and federal enforcement of environmental laws and regulations with senior enforcement officials and thought leaders on environmental enforcement in the United States and globally. The featured guests offer their insights into the challenging environmental issues facing corporations today.

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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Progresses Efforts to License Advanced Reactors

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or Agency) continues to progress the Agency’s efforts to license commercial advanced reactors under two parallel paths. The Agency is reviewing applications for licensing of advanced reactors under the existing regulatory framework (10 CFR Part 50 and 10 CFR Part 52) while developing a “risk-informed” and “technology-inclusive” regulatory framework for advanced reactor technologies and designs — 10 CFR Part 53.

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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Announces Review of Power Plant Design for Small Modular Reactors

The Biden administration has voiced strong support for commercial nuclear energy as an essential element of the President’s goal of achieving  “clean” electricity by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050. Last week, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Agency), announced a regulatory milestone that inches the advanced nuclear technology sector closer to commercialization of small modular reactor (SMR) technology.

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Key Milestones for U.S. Nuclear Projects

This week saw two key milestones for nuclear power, signaling advancement in an industry viewed as critical to securing reliable and carbon-free baseload power for the future. On Monday, March 6, Georgia Power announced that the Vogtle Unit 3 pressurized water reactor achieved initial criticality, meaning nuclear fission was self-sustaining and able to generate the heat necessary to deliver electricity to the grid. The unit is slated to come online in the coming months and is approved to operate under a 40-year Nuclear Regulatory Commission Combined Operating License.

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