- Volume 37 Issue 3
In recent decades, significant effort has led to risk-informed improvements to regulation. Performance-based approaches also promise significant gains in efficiency (level of safety versus effort). However, significant work remains to be done before performance-based approaches realize their full potential in regulation of nuclear power plants. This paper reviews key concepts related to performance-based regulation, discusses some applications of performance-based approaches, and identifies issues that still need to be addressed. Realistic, experience-based models of licensee performance are still lacking; this makes it difficult to assess the prospective effectiveness of any given regulatory approach, in light of the performance issues that it will actually face. Also, while 'compliance' is an intuitively straightforward concept to apply within a prescriptive implementation, its analog in a performance-based approach remains unclear. An overarching theme of the paper is that formal methods of decision analysis are very helpful in developing appropriate regulatory approaches, especially performance-based ones; this theme is illustrated at several points.
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