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ONR signs Memorandum of Cooperation with NRC and CNSC

19 March 2024

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has signed a trilateral Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with two international regulators to collaborate on the assessment of Small Modular Reactor (SMR) and Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) designs. The MoC between ONR, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) was signed at the NRC’s Annual Regulatory Information Conference (RIC) in Maryland, United States.

Image: ONR
Image: ONR

It will enable both good practice and experience of reviewing SMR/AMR designs to be shared between regulators.

With multiple Generic Design Assessments for SMRs currently underway in the UK and abroad, the agreement will help realise opportunities for efficiency.

Signed by Mark Foy, ONR’s Chief Nuclear Inspector and Chief Executive Officer, Ramzi Jammal, CNSC’s acting CEO, and Christopher T Hanson, NRC’s Chair, the MoC builds on ONR’s existing commitments and paves the way for international collaboration.

Mark Foy said: “I am delighted to sign this Memorandum of Cooperation with Canada’s CNSC and the United States’ NRC. Importantly, the trilateral agreement signals a partnering approach that will improve both regulatory effectiveness and efficiency, essential given the rapid growth in reactor technologies that are seeking regulatory consideration and approval.

“The agreement will ensure the efficient use of regulators’ time and resources through a willingness to share technical knowledge and judgements, streamlining regulation while maintaining safety standards, acting as an exemplar of how regulators should work together in today’s modern world.”

Christopher Hanson said: “This agreement shows the great progress we’ve made with our international counterparts to ensure advanced reactor technology can be safely and efficiently deployed.”

Ramzi Jammal said: “The MoC will help us discover greater regulatory efficiencies and strengthen the effectiveness of our reviews of advanced reactor technologies.”

Read the full terms of the MoC published on ONR’s website.

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