In June 2022, EDF announced that NUWARD Small Modular Reactor was the case study for a European joint regulatory review led by the French nuclear safety authority (ASN) with the participation of the Czech (SUJB) and Finnish (STUK) safety authorities and two of their Technical Safety Organisations (IRSN for France and SURO for the Czech Republic).
These early discussions, which took place outside of any formal licensing process, have enabled NUWARD to receive first early feedback that will benefit basic design studies and ultimately anticipate the challenges of international licensing. Willing to share the insights and experience feedback from this initiative with the international community, both EDF/NUWARD and the involved regulators have published their summary closure reports in September this year.
Based on this successful first-of-its-kind experience, EDF, NUWARD and an extended group of European regulators have launched the second phase of the Joint Early Review in December this year. The group of initial safety authorities has now been joined by the regulators from Sweden (SSM), Poland (PAA) and the Netherlands (ANVS).
The objective of this new phase is to further foster early exchanges with the group of safety authorities which are strategically important for the NUWARD SMR development in Europe and identify key enablers and conditions for NUWARD SMR to meet licensing expectations in these countries.
The review will include new technical topics with a similar process to that of the first phase, as well as further discussion on how NUWARD intends to take into account in its design the feedback from the Joint Early Review.
In addition, these exchanges will enable all participants to enhance their collaboration and increase their respective knowledge of each other’s regulatory practices.
Renaud Crassous, Executive President of NUWARD, said: “This joint early review is the way to embed international expectations into the NUWARD SMR design as early as possible and develop a standardised design, licensable in multiple countries. We are also proud to contribute more generally to creating the conditions to streamline and harmonise the licensing process of SMRs across the European Union, with this innovative initiative.”
In parallel, the NUWARD SMR Safety Options File has been submitted to the French Safety Authority (ASN) in July 2023, an essential step to prepare the licensing process for the first NUWARD SMR plant in France.