The European Commission is establishing a new European Industrial Alliance aiming to accelerate the development, demonstration and deployment of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) in Europe by the early 2030s.
The Alliance targets a wide range of SMR stakeholders including vendors, utilities, specialised nuclear companies, financial institutions, research organisations, training centres and civil society organisations. The key objective of the Alliance is to reinforce the nuclear supply chain in Europe by leveraging its manufacturing and innovation capacity and strengthening EU cooperation.
“Today’s launch of the EU Industrial Alliance on Small Modular Reactors will bring together the technology side and energy companies to make the most of safe and versatile new nuclear technologies,” commented Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson. “They can contribute to our decarbonisation pathway to complement renewables and provide baseload energy production for deep electrification, reliable source of heat for industries and urban districts, as well as for low-carbon hydrogen production. Further, the Alliance will facilitate the deployment of the first reactors by the next decade in the countries that choose to do so, in full respect of the highest standards of nuclear safety and environmental sustainability.”
According to the European Commission, the work of the Alliance will focus on:
- reinforcing the European nuclear supply chain by identifying and addressing gaps and promoting close cooperation among stakeholders;
- supporting SMR project promoters to develop, demonstrate and deploy their projects in the EU market and beyond, by identifying and removing barriers and working together with financial investors, industry and local authorities;
- establishing ways to inform and engage potential industrial users of SMRs, such as energy-intensive industries, hydrogen producers and urban districts;
- facilitating and coordinating projects to address future research and innovation needs, particularly for Advanced Modular Reactors under the Euratom Research and Training Programme and by establishing a nuclear skills academy with the support of the Net-Zero Industry Platform
- promoting public engagement about SMRs by working with relevant civil society organisations and NGOs, as well as cooperating with relevant international bodies to help European SMR projects reach international markets.
In combination with other sources of clean energy, SMRs will play a role in achieving the clean energy transition and boosting energy security in Europe in the coming years by helping to decarbonise industry, produce low-carbon hydrogen and provide heat to industry and urban districts.
To accelerate the development and deployment of SMRs, the EU will need to further enhance its capacity to assess the safety and impact of new designs and technologies as well as the wide range of possible applications, including beyond the generation of power such as in healthcare. Euratom and national investments will also need to support the development of new nuclear skills and competencies.
The call for applications will initially run until 12 April 2024.