Certrec has partnered with Abilene Christian University to submit its Molten Salt Research Reactor construction license application to the NRC electronically on time and with quality.

ABILENE and FORT WORTH— Abilene Christian University (ACU) is exploring new territory in the world of applying advanced nuclear energy concepts. On August 15, 2022, ACU electronically submitted its Construction Permit (CP) application to the NRC using Certrec’s proven advanced nuclear licensing capabilities and one of Certrec’s SaaS applications. Certrec support ensured that the request was completed on time and with quality.

“We were thrilled with Certrec’s support,” said Jordan Robison, Engineering Manager for ACU’s NEXT Lab. “Certrec has been instrumental in helping us deliver a quality application under the demands of a tight schedule.”

The challenges of NRC’s licensing process include a complex and sometimes vague set of requirements with multiple contributors working to meet a rigid deadline. Certrec’s knowledge and experience in licensing advanced nuclear technologies, its ability to organize complex projects and its advanced online technology have all helped reduce project schedule, risk and cost. When the licensing process uses email, paper, and other analog methods, it can quickly become convoluted, adding time to the schedule and the risk of not fixing all the necessary issues.

Abilene Christian University’s Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing Laboratory (NEXT Lab) focuses on the research and development needed to use molten salts instead of water as coolant for nuclear reactors. As the leader of the NEXT Research Alliance (NEXTRA), ACU is partnering with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin in a 30-year research agreement $.5 million sponsored by Natura Resources to design, license and build the first university advanced molten salt research reactor. Through this alliance, students and faculty work together to seek creative solutions to complex problems, and the next generation of nuclear science and engineering leaders gain real-world experience. During the process, they will see firsthand how their innovation and collaboration can impact the world.

Several months ago, ACU made a commitment to NRC staff that the CP application would be submitted by August 15, 2022, and with the help of Certrec, it has delivered on that commitment. Certrec used its collaborators and online applications to organize and schedule the effort. Certrec took the materials that the NEXTRA consortium had spent over two years developing and helped refine and finalize the CP application while resolving feedback from various stakeholders. Certrec’s subject matter expertise and lessons learned from previous applications prepared for NRC review have been implemented. Certrec accelerated the collaborative process by digitizing the entire process with Taktix®. This kept everything organized and moving throughout the process. The originals of the documents were always carefully protected.

Certrec helped to:

• Knowledge and experience in licensing advanced nuclear technologies and dealing with related NRC requirements.

• content preparation and formatting for submission.

• automate the entire process to reduce execution time, organize collaboration and track actions.

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