On December 4-6, 2023, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the NRC’s International Regulatory Development Partnership (IRDP) supported a regional conference in Chile sponsored by the U.S. Department of State under the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) program. The conference was titled “FIRST Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Conference on Advancing the Safe and Secure Deployment of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)”. The conference objective was to help officials in the region better understand the role of nuclear energy, particularly SMRs and microreactors, in meeting their clean energy needs and climate goals in a safe and secure manner.
The conference was held in Santiago, Chile, and featured presentations by representatives of the U.S. Department of State, World Institute for Nuclear Security, International Atomic Energy Agency, Nuclear Energy Institute, Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Women in Nuclear, and subject matter experts from FIRST. It also included presentations by representatives from governmental and private organizations from Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, and Jamaica.
Mr. Eric Stahl of the NRC moderated a panel discussion on best practices for licensing and regulating SMRs and Mr. Stewart Magruder from NRC’s contractor, Advanced Systems Technology and Management, Inc. (AdSTM) made a presentation on developing a regulatory framework for SMRs. The conference participants were very engaged, and the conference objectives were clearly met.