Small Modular Reactors

Nuclear Energy Market Potential for Near-term Deployment

In series:Nuclear Developmentview more titles

Published on October 26, 2016


Recent interest in small modular reactors (SMRs) is being driven by a desire to reduce the total capital costs associated with nuclear power plants and to provide power to small grid systems. According to estimates available today, if all the competitive advantages of SMRs were realised, including serial production, optimised supply chains and smaller financing costs, SMRs could be expected to have lower absolute and specific (per-kWe) construction costs than large reactors. Although the economic parameters of SMRs are not yet fully determined, a potential market exists for this technology, particularly in energy mixes with large shares of renewables.

This report assesses the size of the market for SMRs that are currently being developed and that have the potential to broaden the ways of deploying nuclear power in different parts of the world. The study focuses on light water SMRs that are expected to be constructed in the coming decades and that strongly rely on serial, factory-based production of reactor modules. In a high-case scenario, up to 21 GWe of SMRs could be added globally by 2035, representing approximately 3% of total installed nuclear capacity.