IAEA launches a CRP on the economics of SMRs

02 April 2020

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), with electrical power up to 300MW per module, have a specific design, safety, and siting features, as well as a wide range of applications. In response to increased interest, the IAEA is launching a 3-year, Coordinated Research Project (CRP) focusing on the economics of SMRs, including micro-reactors, by providing the Member States with an economic appraisal framework for their development and deployment. 

The new generation of nuclear power reactors is relatively small in size compared to large, gigawatt-scale, nuclear power plants. Micro-reactors are MW-scale, factory-built SMR that can be easily transported — by trucks, ships, airplanes or railcars — to provide reliable heat and power in remote areas and small power grids.

SMRs can be used to generate electricity, process heat and ancillary services in evolving power grids, relying increasingly on variable generation from renewables and a variety of energy storage systems. Their reduced size, upfront costs, and construction times would make them easier to deploy compared to large nuclear power plants.