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NRC to reduce regulatory burden through audit of administrative rules

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is initiating a review of its administrative regulations to identify outdated and redundant rules, beginning in the fall.

The NRC announced Aug. 11 that it will examine whether unneeded regulations can be removed without affecting the agency's mission for nuclear energy safety and security. The agency will develop a strategy to accomplish the regulations audit and seek stakeholder input from public meetings and a notice in the Federal Register.

The NRC anticipates that the review will help streamline the processes for nuclear plant operator applicants and licensees submitting information, keeping records and filing reports. Industry executives have long decried the time and expense involved in complying with NRC regulations.

John Keeley, a spokesman for the Nuclear Energy Institute, the lobbying arm of the industry, said in a statement that the NRC initiative is in line with President Donald Trump's executive orders on reducing regulatory burdens.

"We are eager to work with NRC on identifying regulations that are burdensome, and eliminating them when there is no safety significance," Keeley said. "Over the years, we've built up a plethora of reporting requirements; today NRC should explore the efficacy of those reporting requirements. Are there efficiencies that can be achieved in a new approach?"