For the past 5 years, Nuclear Energy Insider has been holding annual gatherings focused on developments related to small modular reactors (SMR). From the outside, it can appear that little progress has been made during those years, but nuclear technology development is an endurance sport that rewards the patient and persistent.
NuScale should be submitting the first SMR design certification application to the NRC before the end of 2016. They have a strong, virtually committed partner (UAMPS) and have narrowed down the list of potential sites to a few selected locations on the Idaho National Laboratory property.
There are small (< 300 MWe) reactors already under construction in Russia, China, India and Argentina. Though there have been additions and subtractions in the slate of SMR projects under active development, the design category has attracted a growing number of innovators and investment. Ideas that have not yet come to fruition are often still excellent concepts that just need more nurturing to achieve full maturity. On April 14-15, the 6th Annual Nuclear Energy Insider SMR conference will assemble approximately 300 innovators, suppliers, investors, potential customers, analysts, regulators and project leaders in Atlanta for a packed agenda of presentations and discussions.
I’ll be there to listen in, ask questions, share some live Tweets, and gather intel to share with you. Some of the best and most up-to-date information available will come from the podium and stage, but perhaps equally useful is the information that can be uncovered during hallway conversations while sipping coffee.
I’ve heard that there are still a few seats remaining. Since Atlanta is easily accessible for so many nuclear professionals or people who are deeply interested in various aspects of advanced reactors in smaller sizes, it’s probably not too late for some of you to plan a trip.