Before Licensing Floating Nuclear Power Plants, Many Answers Are Needed

EMD-78-36: Published: Sep 13, 1978. Publicly Released: Sep 13, 1978.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

The predecessor to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) received an application in 1973 to manufacture eight standardized floating nuclear power plants near Jacksonville, Florida, and received a separate application in 1974 to station two of the eight plants off the New Jersey coast. Because the floating plants will be built at a location other than where they will be operated, NRC issued new regulations requiring a license for the manufacture of the plants. Approximately $300 million has been spent by the applicants on activities related to the applications, and the first application is more than 3 years behind its original licensing schedule.

NRC staff has made several management decisions that have complicated and contributed to the 3-year delay in its review of the application to manufacture floating nuclear power plants. Factors inhibiting the licensing review process incude: (1) preparation of a generic environmental statement which adds little to the licensing process; (2) NRC failure to evaluate siting possibilities in a timely manner; and (3) NRC failure to evaluate a reactor core melt in a timely manner. The following questions concerning floating nuclear power plants remain: (1) whether more information needed on the risks of a core-melt accident; (2) whether the site will meet requirements for a floating nuclear plant; (3) whether the weight of the plant represent a problem; (4) whether methods been developed for the handling and recovery of nuclear fuel and radioactive waste; (5) whether a method has been developed for decommissioning the floating plant; and (6) whether a floating plant will minimize the environmental effect of power plant operation.

Nov 19, 2020

Oct 29, 2020

Oct 15, 2020

Jul 24, 2020

Jun 24, 2020

Jun 9, 2020

May 13, 2020

May 12, 2020

Apr 29, 2020

  • energy icon, source: Art Explosion

    Priority Open Recommendations:

    Department of Energy
    GAO-20-285PR: Published: Apr 22, 2020. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2020.

Apr 17, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here