Office of Nuclear Energy

4 Key Benefits of Advanced Small Modular Reactors

January 8, 2018

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Welcome to the future of nuclear energy.

Within the next 15 years, advanced small modular reactors (SMRs) could change the way we think about reliable, clean and affordable nuclear power.

Instead of going big, scientists and engineers went small developing mini reactors that are roughly a third of the size of a typical nuclear power plant.

That means America’s largest clean energy source could be coming to a market near you—making nuclear more scalable and flexible than ever before.

Here’s how they work.

Graphic of a small modular reactor that explains how it works.
This infographic explains how small modular reactors work.

Intrigued?

Take a look at these four key benefits to advanced small modular reactors:

SMRs Require Less Prep Time

SMR parts will be factory-made and shipped to site locations. This makes them quicker to build and less expensive than traditional designs—drastically reducing up-front costs for plant construction.

SMRs Provide More Options

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Because SMRs have a simple and compact design, consumers will have more options to utilize nuclear power. This includes locations unable to support large reactors, in addition to powering smaller electrical markets and grids, isolated areas, and sites with limited water.

SMRs Are Flexible

SMRs are extremely flexible. They can be scaled up or down to meet energy demands and help power areas where larger plants are not needed. SMRs can also be used to help replace or repower retiring power plants or to complement existing power plants with zero-emission fuel.

SMRs Attract New Business Opportunities

SMRs can help strengthen American dominance in nuclear energy worldwide. According to a study, estimated deployment of a 100 megawatt SMR could create 7,000 jobs and generate more than $1 billion in sales.

Explore More

Learn more about the Office of Nuclear Energy’s work on advanced small modular reactor technologies.