OECD-NEA releases report on opportunities and challenges of SMRs

Small Modular Reactors: Challenges and Opportunities
Image: Nuclear Energy Agency

The Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD-NEA) report finds small modular reactors are gaining worldwide recognition for their promising technologies, which present economic and system benefits but require the development of a global SMR market.

JULY 16, 2021 – The Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD-NEA) released a report April 2021 highlighting the benefits, opportunities and challenges of global small modular reactor development and deployment. The NEA report highlights are captured in the paragraphs below along with a link to the full report.

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are gaining recognition among policymakers and industry players as a promising nuclear technology. SMRs can be defined as nuclear reactors with a power output between 10 MWe and 300 MWe that incorporate by design higher modularization, standardization and factory-based construction levels enabling more predictable delivery models based on the economies of series.

Today, more than 50 concepts are under development covering a wide range of technology approaches and maturity levels. The value proposition of the SMR technology also includes potential financing and system integration benefits.

These attractive features, however, rely on a business case that requires the development of a global SMR market to become economically viable. Large-scale deployment of SMRs faces several technical, economic, regulatory and supply chain challenges and will need considerable governmental efforts and efficient international collaborative frameworks to be realized in the next decade.

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