Small Modular Reactors

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) present a large potential in terms of integration in future energy system, offering advantages with respect to large nuclear power plants. The two main distinguishing characteristics are reduced power and modular construction. These address the need for added flexibility towards decarbonization, as well as competitive advantages by improving budget and schedule certainty. Most SMR concept will be commercialy available by 2030s.

Ansaldo Nucleare has contributed to the development of multiple Small Modular Reactor concepts and to the qualification of innovative nuclear-dedicated heat exchangers and steam generators.

  • ISIS, an intrinsically safe, immersed 200 MWe system dating back to the 1990s, considered the first integral PWR concept;
  • IRIS, launched by Westinghouse in 2000 as an innovative and safe international reactor, which brought together several Italian organizations in an international effort that lasted more than 10 years;
  • NuScale, equipped with a helical coil steam generator concept that has been validated and improved using an Ansaldo Nucleare computational tool.

As part of Euratom-funded projects and, recently, of the EU Partnership for Small Modular Reactors, Ansaldo Nucleare is currently coordinating industry and research organizations in assessing the status and perspectives of the SMR supply chain in Europe
In order to promote SMR standardization, modularity and reliability, the introduction of new tools and methods (such as the combination of pre-assembled modules) and the use of non-nuclear high-quality components are also being explored.

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