PUBLISHED BY Power Magazine

2023: A Transformative Year for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

Tim Yeo
Tim Yeo Chairman New Nuclear Watch Institute

The small modular reactor (SMR) concept has long been viewed by many within the nuclear sector and by policymakers as somewhat of an arriviste - an upstart with bold promises but lacking credibility and a track record.

SMRs were touted to save the nuclear industry from its original sins of delays and cost overruns, typical for all large infrastructure projects regardless of the sector, by offering smaller, more economical, and flexible nuclear power solutions. Yet for nearly two decades, it was still “just a concept” based on the assumption that the good old modularization principle, which has worked remarkably well in many comparable sectors, would work for nuclear energy too. Without operational examples, however, all these were often seen as overly optimistic or speculative.

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