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Mini but Mighty: unleashing the potential of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)

Romania Energy Center (ROEC) in partnership with the Romanian Atomic Forum (ROMATOM) and the European Commission representation in Bucharest are joining forces to organize an event dedicated to one of the most promising technologies of the moment: Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).

Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) are prestige assets. Not every country has them. The world’s current nuclear fleet (440 reactors worldwide) consists overwhelmingly of big nuclear reactors. This has been the traditional approach to utilization of nuclear for power generation: building large scale reactors (of up to 1,000 MW capacity each). Our event is dedicated to the new approach to nuclear: miniaturization because Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are nuclear reactors of up to 300 MW.

Small nuclear reactors have been used by the military since the 1950s. However, up until now, they have not been used for civilian power generation. This is changing, with some 80 different concepts and designs under development worldwide, according to the IAEA.

Our event will examine the general European policy response in this frontier field, as well as a undertake a broader review of policies currently pursued in the region with respect to SMRs. It will map out what specific SMR models are pursued by different countries in Europe. We plan to take stock of the plans of such countries as Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Czechia, Ukraine and Sweden. The event will reference also the plans underway outside Europe (UK, USA, UAE).

The event will discuss the different competing technologies, the economics and the safety issues related to SMRs. Furthermore, the event will focus on Romania’s SMR project. The aim is to provide a larger context for a discussion about Romania’s efforts in this field, specifically the Doicesti project. We envision a project update from the developer on the status of the Romanian SMR project. In addition, we want to discuss the specific reasons why the NuScale project unraveled in the USA, with the purpose of extracting “lessons learned” for Romania’s project. After the commercial failure of the US project, public opinion in Romania is on the fence about it. Confidence needs to be regained, because the fault was not the underlying technology, but the commercial deal structured around it.

Last but not least, SMRs have a role to play in the energy transition towards climate neutrality as well as the pursuit of energy independence by EU Member States. Which is why it is important to examine the SMR technology in the current geopolitical context. Therefore, we shall look at the role of SMR technology in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, specifically what role it can play in denying an aggressor state the instrument of nuclear blackmail.

 


 

MAIN TOPIC: Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)

SUBTOPICS:

  • EU policy on SMRs
  • NZIA: what place for SMRs in Europe’s new industrial strategy
  • Europe’s SMR alliance
  • general market circumstances and variety of SMR designs
  • overview of countries that have or pursue SMRs
  • overview of companies developing SMR technology
  • Romania’s position on SMRs
  • technology differences
  • costs and funding
  • safety concerns
  • new role and uses for SMRs
  • SMR control room simulator at Politehnica University
  • “lessons learned” from the NuScale project in US
  • Doicesti SMR project in Romania
  • “lessons learned” from Ukraine for planning of energy infrastructure

 

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS:

  • Eugenia Gusilov (ROEC)
  • Mara Roman (EC Representation in Romania)
  • Teodor Chirica (Nuclearelectrica)
  • Melania Amuza (RoPower Nuclear)
  • Andrei Goicea (Nuclear Europe)
  • Bogdan Termegan (ROMATOM)
  • Artem Voitekhin (Embassy of Ukraine)

 

AGENDA: coming soon

 


 

FORMAT: conference

DATE: June 25, 2024 

TIME: 10:30 am – 4:00 pm

LOCATION: EC Representation in Bucharest, Str. Vasile Lascar no. 31, 1st floor, Nicolae Titulescu conference room.

GOOGLE MAPS PIN: click here

LANGUAGE: English