Abstract from Jerud E. Hanson:
In this paper I will discuss the benefits of engaging with commercial nuclear power utilities, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and DOE National Laboratories to explore the use of innovative security technologies to sustain the commercial nuclear power industry.
While the U.S. commercial nuclear power industry is among the most robust and well protected critical infrastructures in the world, increased costs of regulation in Nuclear Security since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 threaten the long-term operation and future of the existing fleets. America’s current operating nuclear reactors provide roughly 60 percent of the nation’s zero-carbon electricity generation in an age where clean electricity generation is believed to be fundamental in the fight against climate change.
There is one nuclear power plant under construction in a nation that has not seen a nuclear power plant built in over 40 years. This indicates the only way to sustain nuclear power generation in the U.S. is through sustaining the current operating fleets, which continue to see plants being shut down due to high operating costs. The nuclear industry and NRC have been successful in establishing guidance necessary to renew a nuclear reactor license for up to 80 years of operation through subsequent license renewal (SLR) with three applications submitted in 2018 and further data indicating over half of the industry will follow.
Recent milestones have been achieved to initiate digital innovation needed to replace dated analog controls and increase efficiencies of systems used to operate the plants. Implementation of innovative security technologies could also decrease operating costs. Past industry and NRC disagreement on increasing use of innovative security technologies without decreasing the overall effectiveness of plant security has historically produced zero results. The results and conclusions of this research validate why now is the ideal time to pursue the implementation of innovative security technologies needed to sustain the commercial nuclear power industry in the U.S.
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