Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Small Modular Reactors

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-2493-6_947-1


A small modular reactor (SMR) is one with electrical output of 300 MWe or less (research reactors are not considered SMR and are not discussed here). The word “modular” refers to the fact that a power plant may have many SMRs on one site, i.e., the power plant may consist of many modules. For example, if one SMR (one module) produces 150 MWe and the plant consists of ten SMRs, the total electric output of that power plant is 1500 MWe.

SMR designs are pursued by many companies in the USA and in other countries. Their advertised advantages are:
  1. 1.

    Because of the small size, the capital cost of a single SMR is much smaller than that of a large reactor with a power output of 1000 MWe or more.

  2. 2.

    The components of an SMR may be manufactured in a factory assembly line; then, they will be transported to the site and be assembled, thus reducing construction time. In some designs, the SMR comes to the site as a complete package ready for operation.

  3. 3.

    Because the power is...


Steam Generator Rankine Cycle Primary Coolant Containment Vessel Decay Heat 
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  1. 1.
    Small modular reactors, special issue of Nuclear Technology, May 2012Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ingersoll D (2016) Small modular reactors: nuclear power fad or future? Woodhead Publishing, CambridgeGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Nevada-RenoRenoUSA