Licensing small modular reactors

M. V. Ramana, Laura Berzak Hopkins, Alexander Glaser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Small modular reactor designs with power levels of less than 300MWe are being developed in several countries. While there are several potential advantages with these reactors, they are also confronted with multiple challenges. Important among these challenges is to have these new reactor designs licensed by national regulatory bodies. Because of the many novel features incorporated in different SMR (small modular reactor) designs, careful and thorough licensing procedures are critical to maintaining safety of the nuclear fleet. This paper examines how different countries have engaged in the process of licensing new reactor designs, and demonstrates both similarities and differences between countries. In many cases, designers have emphasized the safer design and deployment features of SMRs and attempted to use those features as reasons to get existing licensing requirements diluted. This raises the concern that the promised safety enhancements in SMR designs could be offset by a simultaneous relaxation of licensing requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-564
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy
Volume61
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Pollution
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Keywords

  • Licensing
  • Nuclear power
  • Regulation
  • Safety concerns
  • Small modular reactors

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