Brussels, 17 July 2023: Today, SNETP*, in collaboration with its partners in the European SMR pre-Partnership (nucleareurope**, ENSREG*** and the European Commission) has launched a stakeholders’ consultation on the contents of the work developed by each one of the Work Streams established within the initiative devoted to market analysis, licencing, financing, supply chain optimisation and Innovation, Research & Development (IR&D) issues.
On 29 June 2021, in response to the call of the European nuclear industry and the IR&D community, the European Commission organised the first EU Workshop on Small Modular Reactors (SMR). This event showed a growing interest across the EU in this technology and innovative business model, which is gaining momentum worldwide, and confirmed its potential to play a role in the overall decarbonisation efforts and security of energy supply.
A major outcome of this workshop was the endorsement of a “vision paper” widely supported by the stakeholders, including a proposal for a European SMR Partnership in the form of a collaboration scheme involving industrial stakeholders, research & technological organisations, interested customers, as well as European policy makers and regulators with the aim of creating the conditions for the first SMR to start operating in Europe by the early 2030s.
The first phase of the Partnership, called pre-Partnership, was coordinated by a Steering Committee (SC), which provided general direction to enable the drafting and rolling out of a roadmap – shared and endorsed by all the relevant stakeholders – to facilitate the development and deployment of SMRs in Europe. This Steering Committee is supported by five Work Streams (WS) covering issues which are essential for SMR technology outlook, and safe deployment in the EU: market integration and deployment, licensing, financing and partnership, supply chain adaptation, and innovation, research and development.
Through ENSREG, the EU nuclear safety regulators have participated in this pre-Partnership phase to review possibilities with the goal of improving safety assessments in the pre-licensing phase through enhanced inter-regulator collaboration, while maintaining fully their sovereign responsibilities. The nuclear safety regulators are not involved in promoting or stimulating SMRs, nor discouraging such projects. The European Commission remains closely associated with this initiative as a facilitator of a wide stakeholder involvement.
The results of the different analyses performed in the frame of the European SMR pre-Partnership are presented in different draft reports.
To ensure openness and full transparency in the preparation of this European SMR initiative, the draft reports prepared by the different Work Streams are now available to comments from all stakeholders, including the public.
The documents can be consulted here and here. The stakeholder consultation period runs from 17 July until 15 September 2023 and can be accessed here.
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*Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP): https://snetp.eu/
**nucleareurope (NE) trade association for the nuclear energy industry in Europe: https://www.nucleareurope.eu/
***European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG): https://www.ensreg.eu/