The report of Energy Policy Group and Clean Air Task Force offers a cautious technico-economic endorsement for the development of the most viable SMR designs. They will bring an important contribution to the intensifying efforts of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, as well as to ensuring energy security and affordability.
SMRs represent the promise of a new nuclear technology to supply zero-emissions, safe, and dispatchable power, amid intensified efforts to reduce carbon emissions and ensure energy security. With small size (up to 300 MW per unit) and simplified design, modular and factorymade, SMRs are expected to supply new kinds of industrial consumers of electricity and/or heat – e.g., steel mills, aluminum smelters, chemical plants, off-grid mining, refining facilities, electrolyzers, and replacement of closing coal power plants. SMRs will offer zero-emissions baseload (yet partly flexible) power to an energy system with an increasing share of renewables. They will be geographically distributed, with smaller footprints, and much less dependent for cooling on water bodies.