Small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) will play a key role in the energy mix of both developed and emerging countries, according to a new report.

Analysts at energy business consultancy Douglas-Westwood say that SMRs – which are those with a capacity of up to 300 MW – are figuring in the power plans of the US, India, China and several European countries.

The US Department for Energy has to-date received three bids for funding for SMR projects that could be developed, licensed and commercially operational by 2022.

SMRs are also particularly suited to smaller countries with growing energy demand and grid restrictions and remote communities such as islands, says the report.

Douglas-Westwood director Steve Robertson said: “SMRs have a part to play. These units will offer utilities a number of benefits, including short lead-times, scalability, built-in storage for the life of the plant, simple and safe plant design and a more-straightforward financing process.”

However, Douglas-Westwood does acknowledge that there are challenges for SMRs, with the general political uncertainty over nuclear being the biggest threat.

Nonetheless it stresses in its report that “if the economics of SMRs can be realised, then they have a good future, expanding the nuclear option to smaller countries and new markets and applications”.

For more Nuclear Power news.