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First Report from New Nuclear Energy Standards Group Released

For Immediate Release: August 11, 2009

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Contact: Ben Stein

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have published a report on the inaugural meeting of the Nuclear Energy Standards Coordination Collaborative (NESCC), a new ANSI Standards Panel, co-chaired by NIST and ANSI, to address the current and future standards needs of the nuclear energy industry.

Based on applications and communications received by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), more than 30 new nuclear power reactors are expected to be under construction by 2020. In addition, more than 100 existing reactors must be re-licensed—including an assessment of the integrity of the reactor core after 50 years of operation. Because it has been more than 25 years since a new nuclear power reactor has been constructed in the United States, material science and construction techniques have changed substantially, and many of the construction codes and techniques and documentary standards of the past century need to be updated. New and advanced nuclear reactor designs, for example, require standards in areas such as fire protection, seismic requirements, and graphite-core support structures.

The NESCC was formed to address these needs. In addition to NIST and ANSI, the panel is supported by the NRC, the Department of Energy (DOE) and more than 30 private sector standards development organizations, professional societies and industry associations.

The new report explains the rationale for the collaboration; a review of the draft group charter; a discussion of the NESCC’s organizational structure; and identification and discussion of potential standards topics for technical task groups to address. NESCC is accepting proposals throughout the summer for task groups; interested individuals may contact NIST’s Ambler Thompson (ambler@nist.gov; (301) 925-2333). The chosen task groups will meet during the next NESCC meeting, scheduled for the week of Dec. 7, 2009.

The NESCC meeting report is available at http://publicaa.ansi.org/sites/apdl/Documents/Meetings%20and%20Events/2009%20NESCC/NESCC%20Meeting%20-%20June%201,%202009/NESCC%2009-002%20Meeting%20Report%20(6%201%2009)(revised%207.1.09).pdf, and the draft NESCC charter can be found at http://publicaa.ansi.org/sites/apdl/Documents/Meetings%20and%20Events/2009%20NESCC/NESCC%20Meeting%20-%20June%201,%202009/NESCC%2009-001%20CHARTER_6_01_09%20(6.22.09).pdf