New SMR Dashboard reveals progress towards SMR deployment and commercialisation

Artist's Impression SMR

Artist's impression of SMRs for data centres from Nuclear Reimagined by Third Way with permission.

The Nuclear Energy Agency has published the latest version of the NEA Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Dashboard.

This latest edition provides a comprehensive assessment of the progress made by 56 SMR designers and companies worldwide and reveals that since the publication of the inaugural volume of the Dashboard in March 2023, progress has been rapid and is accelerating. Substantial progress has been made towards SMR deployment and commercialisation in NEA and non-NEA member countries, with multiple projects moving from conceptual design, licensing and siting, to breaking ground on construction.

Looking beyond technical feasibility, this resource - designed to provide policymakers and the private sector with vital new tools to help achieve climate and energy security objectives - assesses progress towards first-of-a-kind commercial deployment across six dimensions: licensing, siting, financing, supply chain, engagement and fuel.

NEA SMR Dashboard coverSpeaking about the timeliness of the publication of the latest SMR Dashboard, NEA Director General William D. Magwood, IV, said:

“In the face of the imperative in most of our member countries to drive carbon emissions to net zero by mid-century, many are turning to new nuclear energy capacity as an important component of their energy futures. Fortunately, just as these needs are reaching the attention of government leaders, innovation in the nuclear sector is coming to fruition.”

“This second edition of the NEA Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Dashboard provides a snapshot of this critical moment in the evolution of nuclear energy. SMRs – which include light water technologies, Generation IV nuclear energy systems and microreactors – provide policymakers and the private sector with vital new tools to help achieve climate and energy security objectives by providing a versatile and scalable solution to meet the growing demand economy-wide for power generation and industrial heat production,” continued the NEA Director-General.  

SMRs are technologies capable of harnessing the energy from nuclear fission reactions to produce heat and electricity with power outputs typically smaller than 300 MWe, with some as small as 1-10 MWe. SMRs are designed for modular manufacturing, factory production, portability and scalability.

They also come in a variety of configurations and temperature ranges to create heat that can be used directly, or to generate electricity to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors. The combination of these innovations presents additional potential benefits in terms of safety, operational and deployment flexibility, economics, as well as potentially spent fuel and waste management.

mceclip0 - 2024-03-07 12h14m30sHead of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency Division of Nuclear Technology and Economics, Diane Cameron, presented the new edition of the Dashboard at the Canadian Nuclear Association Conference in Ottawa, Canada, during the panel discussion ‘Countdown to SMRs’. Ms Cameron highlighted that the NEA’s comprehensive global review identified 98 SMR technologies around the world, before selecting the 56 designs to include in this edition.

The assessments in this edition of the SMR Dashboard are based on progress up to a cutoff date of 10 November 2023.

Download the NEA SMR Dashboard: Second Edition here.

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