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Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) merged its Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation with the Office of New Reactors.

The resulting Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation should improve internal coordination, better balance the staff’s workload, and provide greater flexibility to respond to evolving issues at U.S. commercial nuclear power plants. The new structure took effect October 13.

The merged office includes a team focused on the NRC’s project management and technical review activities for the new reactors under construction at the Vogtle site in Georgia.

The merged office also has divisions devoted to reactor oversight; operating reactor licensing; new and renewed licenses; advanced reactors and non-power production or utilization facilities; risk assessment; engineering and external hazards; and safety systems.

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As part of the agency’s transformation, the office also has staff devoted to implementing innovation projects.

Ho Nieh will continue as director of the merged office, supported by three deputy directors: Mirela Gavrilas, deputy director for reactor programs (effective December 2019); Andrea Veil, deputy director for engineering (effective December 2019), and Robert Taylor, deputy director for new reactors.

“We’ve merged these two important offices after extensive planning aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of our reactor safety programs to reflect an evolving industry,” said Margaret M. Doane, NRC executive director for operations. “The new organization can pivot critical skills to address oversight of the operating fleet and plants under construction, as well as ongoing and anticipated licensing activities for evolutionary and revolutionary reactor designs.”

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