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Regulators enhance position on critical software

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and six international regulators have enhanced a common position on their expectations when licensing safety critical software for nuclear reactors. This is highlighted in the latest revision of a consensus document, originally published in 2000.

ONR and six other nuclear regulators from Belgium, Germany, Canada, Spain, Sweden and Finland have updated the document to reflect current expectations and consistent practical standards. It is also the first revision to include contributions from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. While the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has not endorsed the report for direct regulatory use, it has published a separate technical document that contains the report, recognising it as a valuable reference for future improvements in its regulatory guidance.

The document is particularly relevant to new build and generic design assessments as it enables a level playing field across many countries and enables regulators to set consistent requirements. It is used routinely by the regulators concerned and is recommended to nuclear regulators and licensees all over the world.