Global Situation of Small Modular Reactor Development and Deployment
Small modular reactors (SMRs) are nuclear fission reactors that are smaller than conventional reactors. They can be manufactured at a plant and brought to a site to be installed. Modular reactors allow for less on-site construction, increased containment efficiency, and enhanced safety due to passive nuclear safety features. SMRs have been proposed as a way to bypass financial and safety barriers that have inhibited the construction of large conventional nuclear reactors in recent decades. This interest in SMRs is driven both by a desire to reduce the impact of capital costs and to provide power away from large grid systems. This report examines the applicability of SMRs in the context of ASEAN. Since small reactors are envisaged as replacing fossil fuel plants in many advanced countries, it reviews the market conditions and licensing requirements in those countries and the regulatory and safety imperatives needed in developing economies of ASEAN for the commercial deployment of SMRs. The report recommends international cooperation between the SMR-producing countries and potential newcomer countries in the fields of nuclear energy planning, conducting feasibility studies, and new low-carbon infrastructure development.