The Impact of Regulatory Licensing Processes on U.S. Civilian Nuclear Power Plant Project Performance Conference Paper uri icon


  • Due to increasing U.S. energy demand, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is currently reviewing permit applications for 25 new nuclear power reactors. However, the previous generation of nuclear plant construction was beset by significant cost and schedule overruns. Several researchers have identified "regulatory ratcheting," increases in retroactive regulations, as one of the primary causes of the poor performance of these projects. Regulatory ratcheting was enabled, in part, by the two step nuclear power plant licensing process (10 CFR Part 50) that required plants under construction to meet all current regulatory requirements before receiving an operating license. This two step licensing process has been replaced by a single step process (10 CFR Part 52). How will this single step licensing process impact project performance? This question is investigated using a dynamic simulation model of the technical and social feedback processes that impact U.S. nuclear plant construction. The research reveals that under 10 CFR Part 52 society's amplified perception of nuclear power risks can still drive regulatory growth leading to potentially significant cost and schedule overruns. Copyright 2010 ASCE.

name of conference

  • Construction Research Congress 2010

published proceedings

  • Construction Research Congress 2010

author list (cited authors)

  • Taylor, T., Ford, D. N., & Reinschmidt, K. F.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Taylor, Timothy RB||Ford, David N||Reinschmidt, Kenneth F

publication date

  • January 2010