NEA’s Small Modular Reactor Dashboard

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a forum where the governments of 38 democracies work together to address the economic, social and environmental challenges of globalization. Member states include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, the United Kingdom and the United States. The European Commission takes part in the work of the OECD.

The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) was established in 1958 with the mission of assisting member countries in maintaining and further developing through international co-operation the scientific, technological and legal bases required for a safe, environmentally sound and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes; and to provide authoritative assessments and forge common understandings on key issues as input to government decisions on nuclear energy policy towards the sustainable development of low-carbon economies.

Recent NEA analysis found that meeting the average of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2018) pathways consistent with a 1.5°C scenario will require tripling global installed nuclear capacity to reach 1,160 gigawatts (GW) by 2050, up from almost 400 GW. This can be achieved through a combination of long-term operation of existing nuclear reactors, new Generation III nuclear builds and additions of small modular reactors for both power and non-power applications.

This report reviews the state of innovation in SMRs, which are advancing towards commercialization in several countries. The pipeline of innovation includes a range of reactor concepts – from incremental innovation in existing light water reactor technologies to breakthroughs in advanced Generation IV reactor concepts. This pipeline also includes SMRs in a variety of configurations—some land-based, some multi-module, some marine-based, some transportable. These innovations incorporate new materials, a range of coolants and innovative fuels. The innovation pipeline is poised to produce a range of commercial SMRs of different sizes, with a range of outlet temperatures, and new attributes and potential benefits in the areas of safety, flexibility, and economics, as well as spent fuel and waste management.  This report is intended to be updated over time, tracking the progress of these SMRs.

Click here to view the NEA SMR Dashboard report, The NEA Small Modular Reactor Dashboard, prepared and authored by the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency, under the leadership of Diane Cameron, Head of the Division of Nuclear Technology Development and Economics and managed by Emma Wong.