There have been significant discussions over the past few years by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff and the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS), as to the adequacy of the safety goals for use with the next generation of nuclear power reactors to be built in the United States. The NRC, in its safety goals policy statement, has provided general qualitative safety goals and basic quantitative health objectives (QHOs) for nuclear reactors in the U.S. Risk metrics such as core damage frequency (CDF) and large early release frequency (LERF) have also been used as surrogates for the QHOs. This study will examine a potential approach to update the safety goals that includes the establishment of new qualitative goals associated with the comparative risk of generating electricity by viable competing technologies, and the development of preliminary tests in support of a new qualitative goal.

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