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Verification and validation (V&V) have been applied to nuclear power plant safety systems. Detailed procedures and extensive documentation have provided a high degree of design assurance for safety systems however at a relatively high cost. Guidelines are presently needed for a cost effective V&V approach for systems important to safety, e.g., Emergency Response Systems - NUREG 0696. This paper discusses what V&V does and provides some guidance for developing cost effective V&V programs for systems important to safety.