Can advanced computational and predictive capabilities involving artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) improve predictive reliability and predictive safety assessments in the commercial nuclear power industry? Input from the public, the nuclear industry and other stakeholders on this issue is requested by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The agency seeks feedback on the state of practice, benefits and future trends related to these tools in enhancing the safety of commercial nuclear power operations. The request for comment includes 11 questions designed to help the NRC understand where and how these tools are being used and the benefits, including potential cost savings, and risks. The questions include:

What is the status of the commercial nuclear power industry development or use of AI/ML tools to improve aspects of nuclear plant design, operations or maintenance or decommissioning? What tools are being used or developed? When are the tools currently under development expected to be put into use?

What areas of commercial nuclear reactor operation and management will benefit the most, and the least, from the implementation of AI/ML? Possible examples include, but are not limited to, inspection support, incident response, power generation, cybersecurity, predictive maintenance, safety/risk assessment, system and component performance monitoring, operational/maintenance efficiency and shutdown management.

Comments should be submitted by May 21, 2021.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com