NRC approves new digital Nuclear Safety System

NRC approves new digital Nuclear Safety System
Taylor Tracy, NRL

On December 4th, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved the MIT Nuclear Reactor Lab's (NRL) license amendment request to implement a new digital Nuclear Safety System (NSS). The NRC has granted the NRL a 180 day transition window.

This approval is an important milestone in the NRL's effort to improve reactor reliability to better serve those who utilize the facility. The NSS upgrade began in 2010 and included a 6.5 year NRC licensing process. Many NRL staff members were involved in the upgrade process and worked extensively with the NRC to reach this goal.

Gaining NRC approval for implementing digital equipment in existing reactors is an ongoing process for many in the nuclear industry. The NRL's approval sets an example of the process and expectations for other research reactors seeking to upgrade their analog systems to improve capabilities.

The NSS transition is slated to begin in April 2020.