Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

The mission of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is to license and regulate the nation’s civilian use of byproduct, source, and special nuclear materials in order to protect public health and safety, promote the common defense and security, and protect the environment. NRC’s scope of responsibility includes regulation of commercial nuclear power plants; research, test, and training reactors; nuclear fuel cycle facilities; medical, academic, and industrial uses of radioactive materials; and transport, storage, and disposal of radioactive materials and waste. In addition, NRC licenses the import and export of radioactive materials and works to enhance nuclear safety and security throughout the world. As a regulatory agency, NRC does not typically sponsor fundamental research or product development. Rather NRC is focused in part on confirmatory research to verify the safe application of new technologies in the civilian nuclear industry. Currently the agency’s focus with respect to nanotechnology is to monitor developments that might be applied within the nuclear industry to help NRC carry out its oversight role.


Brain Thomas, Deputy Director, Division of Engineering, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research