NRC's Transformation Journey

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has embarked upon a transformation effort to become a modern, risk-informed regulator. The NRC is transforming to better inform decisions and prepare for the future.

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Why Is Transformation Needed at the NRC?

The NRC has been on a transformation journey to be in the best position to continue meeting our important safety and security mission. Transformation helps the NRC keep pace with the highly dynamic, interconnected environment in which we operate, and to be prepared to regulate an industry that is innovative and has new technologies. Transforming also provides the NRC an opportunity to re-evaluate the way we conduct business to streamline processes and procedures and maximize efficiencies to better serve the American public.

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Milestones Along the NRC's Transformation Journey

In October 2018, the NRC began the Futures Assessment effort to ensure we continue to effectively meet our mission in a dynamic and evolving future. The Futures Assessment effort used a scenario planning approach to understand the various ways the NRC's external environment could change, how the NRC could be affected, and steps that the NRC could take to be prepared. The results were published in a report in January 2019, "The Dynamic Futures for NRC Mission Areas." Understanding potential future scenarios helps the NRC ensure we meet our mission no matter what lies ahead.

Building on the Futures Assessment, the NRC sought to engage our staff in a strategic conversation about how to best plan and prepare for the future. The conversation was intended to build internal engagement and tap the collective wisdom of the staff to help shape the NRC's transformation strategy.

The first-ever NRC Futures Jam was held on June 18-20, 2019. Over the course of three days, more than 73% of the NRC staff signed on to the virtual Jam platform. Using real-time analytics, active facilitation, and subsequent data analysis, the staff mined the 4,000+ comments for themes that became the foundation for the NRC's transformation strategy.

an image of a timeline with text from left to right: 'Futures Assessment (February 2019)'; 'NRC Futures Jam (June 2019)'; 'Defining and Implementing the Vision (2019-2022)'; and 'Sustained Progress and Innovation (2022 and Beyond)'.


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Defining and Implementing the Vision

The NRC used the insights from the Futures Assessment and Futures Jam to identify four focus areas for achieving the NRC's transformation vision of being a modern, risk-informed regulator.

  • Our People: Maintain an engaged and highly skilled workforce now and in the future.
  • Be riskSMART: Make sound decisions while accepting well-managed risks in decision-making.
  • Using Technology: Use technology to work smarter, including using data analytics to highlight areas for regulatory attention and improvement.
  • Innovation: Be innovators who make timely decisions that take into account different viewpoints and fully explored options.

In addition, each of the four focus areas was supported by one or more transformation initiatives. A total of eight (8) agency-wide initiatives were identified as activities that the NRC needed to focus energy and attention to drive transformational change. The initiatives were specific projects, each led by a team of NRC staff, that supported the transformation vision and focus areas. All but one of these initiatives, the Culture initiative, are now complete.

an image with 8 differently colored triangles with writing inside.


The NRC staff provided updates on progress in implementing the transformation initiatives  during Commission meetings on October 29, 2019 (Meeting Materials), September 17, 2020 (Meeting Materials), June 22, 2021 (Meeting Materials) and June 1, 2022 (Meeting Materials).

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