Friday, September 07, 2007

NRC Prepares for Avalanche of Paperwork

From the AP:

Federal regulators, girding for explosive growth in the nuclear power industry, say they are weeks away from an anticipated flood of license applications for new reactors not seen since the 1970s.

"There are a lot of challenges for new construction," said Bill Borchardt, director of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's newly created Office of New Reactors. "And a lot of challenges for the NRC."

The independent regulatory agency expects to receive new fast-tracked combined construction and operating license applications for as many as 29 reactors at 20 sites, most in the South, over the next three years.

The first could come as early as Oct. 1, the start of the federal fiscal year.

"We have never had to do this many reviews at one time in parallel with an office that has only existed for less than 12 months," Borchardt said Thursday at the NRC's reactor training center in Chattanooga.

"Nobody thinks this is going to be easy."

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