What are Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)?

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What are Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)? Blog Image


The Science and Technology Minister recently said that India is working on new technologies such as the small modular reactors.

About Small Modular Reactors (SMRs):

  • They are advanced nuclear reactors that have a power capacity of up to 300 MW(e) per unit, which is about one-third of the generating capacity of traditional nuclear power reactors. 
  • SMRs, which can produce a large amount of low-carbon electricity, are:
    • Smallphysically a fraction of the size of a conventional nuclear power reactor.
    • Modular – making it possible for systems and components to be factory-assembled and transported as a unit to a location for installation.
    • Reactors – harnessing nuclear fission to generate heat to produce energy.
  • Advantages:
    • Relatively small physical footprints;
    • Reduced capital investment;
    • Can be factory-built unlike the conventional nuclear reactors that are built on–site;
    • Ability to be sited in locations not possible for larger nuclear plants;
    • Provisions for incremental power additions;
    • It also offer distinct safeguards, security and nonproliferation advantages.
  • They can be used for power generation, process heat, desalination, or other industrial uses. 
  • SMRs can offer a carbon free, clean energy alternative to fossil fuels.


Q1) What is Nuclear Fission?

Fission occurs when a neutron slams into a larger atom, forcing it to excite and split into two smaller atoms—also known as fission products. Additional neutrons are also released that can initiate a chain reaction. When each atom splits, a tremendous amount of energy is released.

Source: India working on small modular reactors: Jitendra Singh