US offers best potential for nuclear SMRs

The US is the most attractive country in the world for the development of small and medium-sized nuclear reactors, according to a new report.

The analysis states that although other countries including Brazil, China, India, Russia and Canada also offer attractive conditions for the growth of SMRs, the US is best placed for development because of its population density, energy consumption, carbon emissions and experience with SMR technologies.

Other factors driving the growth of SMRs are also said to be positive public opinion towards nuclear and strong support from the government.

The report by research and consulting firm GlobalData states that despite the limited growth of the country’s installed nuclear capacity between 2000 and 2012, which increased from 97,256 MW to 101,465 MW, this capacity is now expected to rise to 113,769 MW by 2025.

GlobalData’s associate power analyst Pranav Srivastava said: “Despite the seriousness of the Japanese Fukushima disaster in 2011, public opinion surrounding nuclear power development in the US remains positive, proving that there is, and will continue to be, a high level of support for future SMR construction across the country.”

He added that the US government is also lending its support to the installation of additional SMRs by investing heavily in research and development for new reactor technologies and funding half the costs of the design and construction of an upcoming new plant.

“What’s more, the government has decided to back the development of the Next Generation Nuclear Power Plant in an effort to promote highly beneficial Generation IV reactors, providing a further substantial boost to US nuclear power development,” he said.

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