The Application of CNSC Fukushima Action Plan in the Design of Small Modular Reactors

Abstract of the technical paper/presentation presented at:
CNS 11th International Conference on CANDU Maintenance and Nuclear Components
October 1–4, 2017

Prepared by:
Magdy El-Hawary and Noreddine Mesmous
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


In 2014, CNSC published a suite of updated regulatory documents that incorporate the lessons learned from the Fukushima action plan. To the extent practicable, the requirements and guidance provided in these documents are technology-neutral with respect to water-cooled reactors. For non-water-cooled reactors, the principles behind the requirements remain applicable, with the understanding that an applicant or licensee may put forward a case to demonstrate that the intent of a requirement is addressed by other means and demonstrated with supportable evidence. The wide range of non-water-cooled reactor designs makes it impractical for the CNSC to develop detailed regulatory documents specific to each design.

This paper addresses the potential application of the CNSC Fukushima action plan and the CNSC white paper on design extension conditions, for the CNSC pre-licensing vendor design reviews (VDRs) performed for small modular reactors (SMRs). SMRs include water-cooled and more advanced designs. The paper provides:

  • a summary of the CNSC’s VDR process
  • a summary of relevant CNSC regulatory documents
  • a summary of basic characteristics of SMR designs including modularity, simplified design features, passive features and inherent safety features
  • examples of the safety intents in CNSC documents and how they can be shown to be satisfied for SMRs

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