Licensing and Safety Requirements

8.1. INTRODUCTION/OBJECTIVES

Advanced reactors will need to meet continued demands for increased safety. This chapter reviews present legislation and possible future licensing requirements for the safety of advanced future reactor operation. The current generation of nuclear plants was designed to withstand accidents from a set of ‘design basis’ events. Most countries set limiting core damage frequencies and limiting probabilities for large fission product releases. An objective of many designers for advanced plants is to extend the current design basis to include accidents of increased severity and lower probability to meet expected more stringent future regulatory safety requirements.

The main focus of this chapter will be on the licensing and safety requirements for evolutionary reactors. Many regulators believe that the national frameworks already in place for existing plant remain adequate for evolutionary plant. However, there are increasing endeavours by international bodies such as the EC and IAEA to promote more harmonised agreement on nuclear safety criteria and therefore encourage a more harmo­nised approach to licensing in their member states. There is similar encouragement from the industry side with the development of standardised utility requirements (URs) for member states, e. g. the US and European URs described in the previous chapter.

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