Summary of SMR competitiveness in “off-grid” applications

The evaluation performed in this section has identified several potential niche markets for SMRs, in particular remote areas with severe climatic conditions hosting mining, refinement enterprises or military bases, and the affiliated small settlements.

On a purely economic basis, isolated islands and small off-grid settlements in populated developing countries (e. g. Indonesia, India) could also become potential market[65].

It was shown that a variety of land-based and barge-mounted SMR plants with substantially higher LUEC could still be competitive on these markets on condition that the plants meet certain technical and infrastructure requirements defined by the specific climate, siting and access conditions of the targeted locations.

In these niche markets, SMRs are not competing with large reactors, the competition will be only with the non-nuclear energy options available or possible for the specific locations.

Co-generation appears to be a common requirement for SMRs in niche markets. More niche markets for advanced SMRs could probably be found if the investigations of this kind are continued.

The evaluation performed in this section, which considered the generation of electricity or the production of electricity and heat in remote or isolated “off-grid” locations, has found many cases when small barge-mounted NPPs with the PWR-8 and PWR-35 twin-units (based on the Russian ABV and KLT-40S designs) are competitive.


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[7.4] IEA (2010), Electricity Information 2010, OECD Publications, Paris, France.

[7.5] Order #216-e/2 of the Russian Federal Tariff Service (22 September 2009):

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[7.6] National Energy Board of Canada (2010):

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[7.9] IEA (2008), “Energy Policy Review of Indonesia”:

www. iea. org/textbase/nppdf/free/2008/Indonesia2008.pdf

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[7.11] Webb, J. (2005), “Daring to be different: India has bold plans for a nuclear future”, New Scientist, issue: www. newscientist. com

[7.12] Government of India, ”Northern Regional Power Committee” — Annual Report 2008-2009: www. nrpc. gov. in

[7.13] “The Commercial Outlook for U. S. Small Modular Nuclear Reactors”, U. S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, February 2011. Available at:

http://trade. gov/publications/pdfs/the-commercial-outlook-for-us-small-modular-nuclear-reactors. pdf

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