On January 20, 2021, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s International Regulatory Development Partnership (IRDP) conducted a virtual workshop on licensing Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) for the Indonesian government. This was part of a remote consultancy series sponsored by U.S. State Department under its Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) program. FIRST is a capacity-building program started by the U.S. Government in 2020 to support nuclear energy newcomer countries in their ability to make future nuclear energy decisions consistent with the highest nuclear security, safety, and nonproliferation standards.
The IRDP workshop was the final installment of a four-part seminar series focused on nuclear security and safety, workforce development, financing, and regulatory and licensing considerations related to SMR Technology. Indonesian agencies in attendance included the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (BAPETEN), National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN), and Indonesia Power.
IRDP instructors Dr. Charles Miller and Mr. Mark Tonacci presented on differences between SMRs and the current fleet of reactors, advantages and disadvantages, the U.S. licensing framework, including laws, regulations and guidance, and the process for issuance of a construction permit and operating license. Further discussions described the SMR technical safety review areas, staffing and support for the regulatory agency, and important considerations for an emerging regulator conducting its first nuclear power plant review. The presentation concluded with discussions of SMR licensing accomplishments, challenges, and lessons learned for the NRC.