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2019–20 Regulatory Cooperation Council work plan for small modular reactors

On August 15, 2019, a detailed memorandum of cooperation was signed between the President of the CNSC and the Chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S. NRC) to enable detailed and specific cooperation on the regulation of activities involving small modular reactors (SMRs) and advanced reactor designs.

Regulatory Cooperation Council

The Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) provides regulators from both countries the opportunity to work together to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden on stakeholders, while continuing to protect the health and safety of citizens and the environment. The RCC provides a forum for stakeholders, including industry, consumers, and non-government organizations, to discuss regulatory barriers and identify opportunities for regulatory cooperation.

The CNSC and the U.S. NRC participate in the RCC to share scientific information about technical matters that could support more efficient reviews of SMRs and advanced reactor technologies.

Canada-U.S. RCC work plan

The following work plan is based on ongoing discussions between Canadian and U.S. regulators. It is updated twice a year to support open communication with other parts of government and the public on the status of our memorandum of cooperation.

Initiative Desired outcome(s) Activities Reporting
Cooperation on the regulation of activities for SMRs and advanced reactor designs.

Both regulators have aligned and/or complementary approaches to safe, efficient development and deployment of SMR and advanced reactor technology.

Canada and the U.S. acknowledge differences between their respective regulatory frameworks and licensing processes while leveraging fundamental scientific and engineering findings from other reviews to the extent practicable.

Enhance the depth and breadth of understanding of the respective staff of the CNSC and U.S. NRC on the counterpart nation’s regulatory review activities and requirements; enhance joint opportunities for learning and understanding the advanced reactor and SMR technologies being reviewed.

Develop guidance for the content/review of new build licence applications for advanced reactors projects. Work plan finalized.
Started work – June 2020.
Cooperate in pre-application review activities pertinent to advanced reactors – Terrestrial Energy’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor. Work plan being developed.
Share regulatory insights from the technical review of the NuScale SMR design certification review. Work plan finalized.
Started work – June 2020.
Cooperate in pre-application review activities pertinent to SMRs. Work plan being developed.

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