Report outlines factors that will determine SMRs' survival

A Nuclear Energy Insider report last week has identified the challenges faced by the sector in the past eight months and what's required to forge a clear path forward for small modular reactors (SMRs).

“From the outside, it will seem that SMR development has hit a brick wall, but to lump the sector’s difficulties together with the death of the so-called nuclear renaissance would be missing the point,” Nuclear Energy Insider senior industry analyst and the report’s lead author Kerr Jeferies said.

The report, “Small Modular Reactors: An Industry in Terminal Decline or on the Brink of a Comeback?” gathers intelligence from more than 50 of the industry's specialists, including SMR vendors, developers, investors and potential customers -- and identifies the main strands of thinking that will enable SMR commercialization to get back on track.

“The unique underlying appeal of the SMR offering remains intact and indeed unchallenged by any emerging power-generating techniques, and there are clear signs that the missing pieces of the puzzle – commercial, technological and regulatory – could start falling into place next year.” Jeferies said.

The report found that vendors and potential customers believe Nuclear Regulatory Commission engagement with SMRs will inspire other international regulatory bodies to globally export their product suites.

“We found vibrant and intense discussions going on now, crystallizing around a smaller number of themes, specifically, licensing and design certification, funding streams, and assembling the required supply chains," Jeferies said.

Outside the U.S., promising first-of-a-kind SMR projects are now under construction, in Argentina,  Russia and China.

Nuclear Energy Insider also has announced the return of its Small Modular Reactor Summit, to be held April 14-15 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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