Operational safety (per 10 CFR 810) means the capability of a reactor to be operated in a manner that complies with national standards or requirements or widely-accepted international standards and recommendations to prevent uncontrolled or inadvertent criticality, prevent or mitigate uncontrolled release of radioactivity to the environment, monitor and limit staff exposure to radiation and radioactivity, and protect off-site population from exposure to radiation or radioactivity. Operational safety may be enhanced by providing expert advice, equipment, instrumentation, technology, software, services, analyses, procedures, training, or other assistance that improves the capability of the reactor to be operated in compliance with such standards, requirements or recommendations.
Per 10 CFR 810.6(c)(2) and (3), the following are Generally Authorized activities at any safeguarded or NRC-licensed facility, provided all conditions are met:
- No sensitive nuclear technology or assistance described in §810.7 is involved;
- Furnish operational safety information or assistance to existing safeguarded civilian nuclear reactors outside the United States in countries with safeguards agreements with the IAEA or an equivalent voluntary offer, provided DOE is notified in writing and approves the activity in writing within 45 calendar days of the notice. The applicant should provide all the information required under §810.11 and specific references to the national or international safety standards or requirements for operational safety for nuclear reactors that will be addressed by the assistance; or
- Furnish operational safety information or assistance to existing, proposed, or new-build civilian nuclear facilities in the United States, provided DOE is notified by certified mail return receipt requested and approves the activity in writing within 45 calendar days of the notice. The applicant should provide all the information required under §810.11.
Note the use of the term “existing” in §810.6(c)(2). This term is intentional to refer to reactors already in existence and to exclude new builds or sites under construction. On the other hand, 810.6(c)(3) allows for operational safety information (OSI) transfers to a foreign entity proposing, constructing, or operating a civilian nuclear facility in the US. Another important distinction between these two subparts of the regulations Is the use of the term “reactor” vs “nuclear facility”. For OSI, transfers to facilities outside of the US, reactors are the only facility permitted under this General Authorization. For similar activities at other facilities abroad, such an enrichment or fuel fabrication facility, this section of the regulations on OSI does not apply.
Finally, note that despite being Generally Authorized, both §810.6(c)(2) and §810.6(c)(3) still have reporting requirements that must be completed prior to the activity. The former requires providing all details outlined in §810.11 in addition to relevant national or international safety standards or requirements for the proposed activity. The latter requires all details outlined in §810.11.
Final determinations as to export control applicability are made after a full review by the appropriate U.S. Government agency. Use of this Export Compliance Guide does not constitute U.S. Government review, is not DOE/NNSA advice or a determination, and is provided for the user's convenience only.