Review of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Licensing Process: Hearing Before the Committee on Science Space, and Technology, Subcommittee on Energy, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, First Session, July 29, 2015   [open pdf - 690KB]

This is a testimony compilation of the July 29, 2015 hearing "Review of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's [NRC] Licensing Process" held before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. From the opening statement of subcommittee chairman Randy Weber: "I'll keep it simple: we have the best engineers in the world that want to take on commercial risk and develop these next generation technologies if we just give them the opportunity. These new technologies can: [1] Mitigate proliferation risk [2] Increase fuel utilization [3] Reduce waste yields [4] Achieve higher safety margins [5] And reach high levels of thermal efficiency [.] The United States is at its best when we provide a clear path for our technology innovators to do what they do best -- find creative solutions to the world's challenges. […] The prospective DOE [U.S. Department of Energy] user facility we're considering today would be a fast-reactor based neutron source. As a practical matter, the construction of such a facility will almost certainly require some form of technical assistance from the NRC and that will be an interesting topic to explore. Another issue, and perhaps the most challenging question for the Subcommittee, is how the federal government can make the process simpler for entrepreneurs to conduct experiments that would enable them to translate theories for alternative reactor concepts to reality. The NRC has a regulatory process for non-power reactors, but the time required to issue a license appears to have created a barrier to investment." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Stephen Burns.

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