Proposed regulation for siting of microreactors

    Anchorage, Alaska (KINY)- The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the release of draft microreactor siting permit regulations for public notice and comment.

    These regulations were drafted in support of Governor Dunleavy's Office of Energy Innovation and in response to the United States Air Force Microreactor Pilot Program, which expects to have the first microreactor operational at Eielson Air Force Base by the end of 2027.  

    "In preparation for future commercial use of this sustainable, affordable, and reliable energy resource, DEC is developing regulatory requirements to provide our communities with the information they need to explore clean energy options for use at the local level," DEC Commissioner Jason Brune said.   

    A microreactor is a small nuclear reactor that can operate independently from the electric grid and produces roughly 1 to 50 megawatts. Most of these small reactors are factory assembled, with the reactor core transported to the site as a pre-fueled and sealed module that acts as a nuclear "battery," providing energy without the need for refueling for up to a decade.

    "Microreactors will be transformative for Alaska," Governor Mike Dunleavy said. "They can deliver clean, safe, carbon-free energy in areas on and off the road system. The draft regulations are an important step to revolutionizing energy production in our state."

    DEC's statutory authority over nuclear facilities is outlined in Alaska Statute 18.45. In addition to acquiring a license or permit from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, applicants are required to obtain a siting permit from DEC, and approval by the municipality/borough with the local jurisdiction (or the legislature if the site is in an unorganized borough).

    DEC's role is solely in the siting of a microreactor facility. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will address licensing, construction, operation, and safety and security of the facility.

    Individuals wishing to review the draft regulations and/or provide comments can do so until 11:59 p.m. AK ST on May 11, 2023. Visit DEC’s website to submit comments:


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