Future trends

Developments to monitor whose achievement would indicate the future strength of

the SMR program are as follows:

• Russia: sustained construction and deployment of SMRs for specific terrestrial and ocean missions.

• USA: design certification by the US NRC of an SMR design; continued authorization of SMR development funding to the DOE by the US Congress and administration; firm commitment of a US utility to construct an SMR; continued development of the Next Generation Nuclear Plant by the DOE and the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Industry Alliance to further high-temperature gas reactor technology.

• China: evaluation in 2018 of the completed pebble bed reactor to assess whether cost and performance targets for electricity production based on its experimental HTR-10 steam cycle design have been achieved.

• Worldwide: announcement of firm interest by a developing country in an SMR compared to a large Generation III+ water-cooled unit.

1.7 Conclusion

It is likely that, given the operability and licensing experience of LWRs, the prospects for deployment of these reactors, and principally the PWR, are the most promising. However, while SMR deployments for specific missions as is occurring in Russia and China will undoubtedly continue, the prospect for large-scale deployment of SMRs for electricity production in the US and in developing nations is as yet uncertain. The current resolution of this uncertainty awaits achievement of regulatory certification of at least one design and more certainty in the costs, both overnight capital cost as well as the delivered electricity cost.

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