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    Localization of the safety case to a country importing a NPP is important for the commercial success of the vendor. The localization effort is specific for the importing country and its range may vary significantly. The important aspect of the localization is the modification of the documentation, and even complementing it with additional analyses as required, to show compliance with the local laws and regulations, and with the IAEA safety standards. Especially important for the newcomer countries the localization of the safety case is a presentation of the arguments and evidence in a clear and concise manner that is understandable and transparent for the local regulatory authorities as well as for the future owner/operator.


    NINE can be of a potential provider of services in support of establishment of SMR sale, deployment and licensing worldwide.



Export of any nuclear power reactor including SMR requires adaptation of the safety case developed for the original country to the regulatory requirements of the importing countries. This safety case adaptation process is usually called “localization”.

There are basically two types of potential importing countries: one with existing nuclear power infrastructure and established regulatory process, and the second type is a “newcomer country” that has a weak regulatory and industrial infrastructure and insufficient competence base.

Following issues must to be considered:

  • Many countries will import only plants that have been licensed and in operation in the country of origin.
  • Some countries will accept as prove of safety the licensing of the plant in the country of origin including the regulatory requirements. However, a regulatory review will be conducted.
  • In countries with existing nuclear safety infrastructure this review may be quite extensive (and accompanied by additional requirements for evidence showing compliance with local laws and regulations and even with European or IAEA safety standards).
  • Most of the newcomer countries relay extensively on the IAEA support and adopt in one or other way IAEA safety standards. These countries follow the guidance of the IAEA on establishment of nuclear power programme which stresses the independence of the regulatory bodies, and emphasizes the responsibility of the operator including taking the ownership of the safety case. These countries follow the safety standards of the IAEA on the level of requirements and expect that the safety case provided by the vendors shows compliance with these requirements (safety assessment and design for safety) with appropriate arguments and evidence.
  • Some of the newcomer countries have developed requirements for the content and format of the safety analysis report based on the IAEA guidance.
  • The IAEA supports the newcomer countries with training on safety case review based on IAEA safety standards.
  • The IAEA supports these countries in development of laws and regulations fitting in the national legal system.

NINE Capabilities and Experiences

NINE has a lot of experience and knowledge necessary for licensing and evaluation of new designs and has been also involved in some Localization Projects. Here are the key points regarding NINE relevant expertise:

  • Licensing support - Experience in preparation (or review) of safety cases especially in-depth safety analyses including preparation of Chapter 15 of SAR not just for classic designs but particularly for unique designs such as Atucha-II NPP in Argentina. This expertise covers the whole spectrum of deterministic safety analyses;
  • Localization Project – Review of safety documentation of VVER1200 for licensing application in Finland and preparation of the Sections of Chapter 15 SAR.
  • Experience with passive systems, design, analyses and evaluations  - deterministically as well as probabilistically;
  • Knowledge of international requirements and standards specifically IAEA and European. Most newcomer countries rely on IAEA safety standards and fulfillment of those standards is a requirement even if the SAR is prepared in different formats. The NuScale PSAR as it stands (prepared for US NRC) would probably not fly in any European country as well as in other countries in Asia or elsewhere;
  • NINE staff and Associates have long experience with IAEA through direct work for the IAEA or participation in IAEA projects. NINE staff has also conducted nuclear safety courses and mentored SARs review in many newcomer countries;
  • NINE staff is on top of current safety research and applications through participation and leading of projects at NEA and IAEA.