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  1. “The current expectation is that the agency will take about two months to review the application and determine if it is complete or if additional information is needed before the staff can begin its work that, under a recently refined schedule, is projected to take three and a half years.”

    Would this mean that a unit or unit(s) of the 12 modules could possibly be complete before Vogtle? Time is money and reducing assembly time by such a factor is a strong selling point.

    1. I don’t think so. If the 3 1/2 year NRC effort results in a COL, then you have a “paper reactor” with a license, and the real work can begin.

      1. And the “paper reactor” can still be subject to gyrations, particularly when the region and HQ contradict each other.

        1. “The firm has purchased 43,000 hours of professional staff time at a cost of more than $11 million to resolve concerns about the design approach and safety case.”

          I guess I misunderstood. I thought the NRC had already invested the 43,000 hours. That’s about 21 people full time for a year. Does any other industry require this level of review effort by the government?

          1. @Eino

            Just to be clear – NuScale has already purchased the 43,000 hours and the NRC has already delivered them in the process of pre-application coordination and review.

            The clock hasn’t even started yet for the design certification review. That one will probably take 4-10 times as much time and money.

  2. Not quite as historic, somewhat off topic, but noteworthy nevertheless … the NRC finally, once again, has a nuclear engineer for its chairman.

    And this only a week into the new administration.

    1. Thanks Brian. Closely kept secret, but Mr. Google finally turned up a story at Platts: http://www.platts.com/latest-news/electric-power/washington/us-nrcs-svinicki-appointed-chairman-effective-21720968

      Apart from a minor clash of symbols, my question is whether Ms Svinicki’s appointment will make any real difference over Mr. Burns. Svnicki is an ex-DoD NE with 10 years experience as senate aid, including to senators Warner and McCain. Burns is a lawyer with experience OECD Nuclear Agency and 30 years at NRC, including 3 as General Counsel.

      I don’t personally know any more of either; superficially they both appear very well qualified. Do you know if there is anything here beyond partisan politics?

      1. The ANS website had a news item on it.

        “Svnicki is an ex-DoD NE”

        She’s ex-DOE, not DOD.

        I’ve heard Svinicki speak. She’s rather soft-spoken, but I think she will make a fine chairman.

        “Do you know if there is anything here beyond partisan politics?”

        How about seniority? Svinicki has been on the Commission much longer than the other two members.

        I don’t have anything against a lawyer being on the Commission. I think that legal expertise is quite valuable in a regulatory setting. Nevertheless, nuclear power, by its very nature, is highly technical. Therefore, I prefer to see someone with a relevant technical background leading the Commission, especially during an emergency situation, when the Chairman has to act without the rest of the Commission (e.g., how Chairman Jaczko acted immediately following the Fukushima accident).

        1. Thanks. Albeit — arguably — Mr. Jaczko might have taken 30 minutes or so to ask of his technical colleagues. It’s not clear the Chairman was required to speak in haste.

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