October 6, 2021 - 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Eastern Time (ET)
Small (and Modular)
The Future of Nuclear?
With a shortened construction timeline, greater adaptability and inherent safety features compared to conventional nuclear reactor designs, small modular reactors (SMRs) offer an opportunity to significantly expand low carbon energy generation. Applications range from provision of firm baseload power or flexible operation alongside variable renewable sources to water desalination, hydrogen production, district heating or cooling, and delivering heat for industrial processes. Regulatory and technological advances as well as a number of announced projects have recently heightened interest in this technology, although questions remain about the viability of alternative SMR technology options, the economics of manufacturing and deployment, and the ability to overcome regulatory obstacles and opposition in parts of the public. To provide an updated perspective on the current state of SMR technology and its prospects for the future, MIT CEEPR has invited Jacopo Buongiorno, professor of nuclear science and engineering and director of the MIT Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (CANES), and Christopher Colbert, chief strategy officer of NuScale Power, to share insights from their ongoing work and latest research.