Guidance Development

NRC develops several types of documents that contain guidance for applicants, licensees, and staff. Two types discussed on this page are regulatory guides and standard review plans (SRPs). SRPs are issued as formal publications in NRC's NUREG series. Guidance documents do not contain regulatory requirements although licensees may commit to following regulatory guides as conditions of their licenses.

On this page:

Developing Regulatory Guides

Regulatory guides, issued in 10 divisions, provide guidance to licensees, applicants, and stakeholders on (1) implementing specific parts of the NRC's regulations, (2) techniques used by the NRC staff for evaluating specific problems or postulated accidents, (3) data needed by the NRC staff for review of applications for permits or licenses, and (4) the preferred standard format and content for information submitted for NRC's approval of a specific program, license, permit, or certificate. During development, regulatory guides undergo extensive reviews by NRC staff, stakeholders, the public, and as appropriate, advisory committees to the NRC.

  1. Power Reactors
  2. Research and Test Reactors
  3. Fuels and Materials Facilities
  4. Environmental and Siting
  5. Materials and Plant Protection
  6. Products
  7. Transportation
  8. Occupational Health
  9. Antitrust and Financial Review
  10. General

Stakeholder Participation: Although most guides are issued as drafts to obtain public comment, comments are welcome on all guides. Comments on draft guides are actively solicited from stakeholders and the public. Comments on draft regulatory guides can be submitted electronically using our comment form.

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Developing Standard Review Plans

The staff usually follows specific guidance when it reviews a license application for a facility or operation that uses nuclear materials. Some of this guidance is of interest to licensees and other stakeholders.

Development: The guidance for license application review is called a standard review plan (SRP). These plans differ because they correspond to the type of license the applicant wants to obtain. After the staff drafts an SRP and has it reviewed by peers and managers, the plan is often issued for comment before it is finalized and published in the NRC's formal NUREG series.

Stakeholder Participation: A notice that a draft is available for comment is published in the Federal Register. After considering the comments, NRC publishes the final version. After comments are considered, the SRP is finalized, composed for printing, and distributed to the interested audience. For SRPs related to a specific type of nuclear facility or use for nuclear material, see the guidance page for that area. See our NUREG-Series Publications for specific SRPs or our table listing their availability in ADAMS to obtain them.

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