With demand for energy set to increase, there is a need to combine decarbonisation with security of supply. This means a pivotal role for nuclear in any future energy mix.
The nuclear industry is well-known for its ‘mega projects’: reactors designed to have an electrical output even higher than 1000 MWe. While these projects play an important role in the history of nuclear, their complexity and scale has often resulted in delays.
Now, vendors and developers in the industry are working together to shift this model – ‘economies of scale’ – to a newer, simplified, and more affordable standard: ‘economies of series’.
Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are nuclear fission reactors that form the basis of this new standard. Smaller than conventional nuclear reactors, they are designed to be manufactured at a plant and transported to a site for installation
Learning curve and economies of series, centralised factory production to limit onsite costs, transportable on site
Reduced complexity enhancing overall safety, while limiting costs (e.g., passive safety)
Lower upfront capital costs and financing risk, with greater access to private capital
Remote locations, small grids, fossil plant replacement, non-electrical applications, marine based
At newcleo, we combine the SMR concept and our innovations with Advanced Nuclear Reactor technology.
The core Advanced Nuclear Reactor technologies were defined by the Generation IV International Forum, which identified six new promising technologies and Research and Development programme for each. Among these technologies – with the aim of improving sustainability, safety, reliability, proliferaiton-resitance, and performance in the nuclear industry – is the Lead-cooled Fast Reactor concept, the basis of newcleo’s Small Modular Reactor design.
Gen-IV systems shift the current safety philosophy, aiming to maintain current reactor’s high level of safety, and shifting from mastering accidents to excluding accidents. This is achieved employing both active safety systems and passive safety systems, the latter relying on natural laws of physics rather than people or machines. Gen-IV concepts can further rely on physical principles which render the most severe accident physically impossible: this is called inherent or intrinsic safety.
Lead properties enable design simplification (hence economic benefits) and a high degree of inherent safety: