Monday, April 22, 2024
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Commission launches declaration on Small Modular Reactors to support research and innovation in nuclear safety

The European Commission has announced the ambitious Declaration on EU Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) 2030: Research & Innovation, Education & Training, signed by Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel and EU nuclear stakeholders, including nucleareurope, Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP), European Nuclear Society (ENS) and European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN).

“We are committed to continue supporting research and innovation in nuclear safety through the Euratom Research and Training Programme, to ensure EU’s leadership in the energy and medical fields,” said Mariya Gabriel. “EU technological sovereignty will require joint efforts in education, training, research and innovation, to properly manage radioactive waste and spent fuel and develop the technologies of tomorrow.”

As highlighted by the Commission, for those Member States that choose to include nuclear in their energy mix, SMRs will serve as complementing assets, as a promising option to replace old coal power plants and complement the penetration of renewables. SMRs should offer the flexibility of use for district heating, desalination, process heat for energy-intensive industries and production of hydrogen.

The announcement came at the same time as the presentation of the Euratom Research and Training Work Programme for 2023-2025 (worth 132 million euros). The Commission is launching the first-ever Innovation Action of 15 million euros through the Euratom Work Programme to support the safety of European Light Water SMRs.

In addition, this Work Programme will earmark 12 million euros for co-funding researchers and industry to work together on the safety of Advanced Modular Reactors (AMRs), including SMRs, with interested Member States.

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