Advanced Small Modular Reactors

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DOE Accelerates Long-Awaited User Facility Upgrades
By Will Thomas, American Institute of Physics

With recent funding increases, the Department of Energy is advancing a suite of upgrades to its light and neutron source scientific user facilities, helping them remain competitive with European facilities. Meanwhile, there are new discussions about building a new reactor-based neutron source, even as Congress pushes ahead with a different reactor for nuclear energy R&D.

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Small Nuclear Power Reactors
World Nuclear Association

Today, due partly to the high capital cost of large power reactors generating electricity via the steam cycle and partly to the need to service small electricity grids under about 4 GWe, there is a move to develop smaller units. These may be built independently or as modules in a larger complex, with capacity added incrementally as required

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Advanced Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)
U.S. Department of Energy

Advanced Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are a key part of the Department’s goal to develop safe, clean, and affordable nuclear power options. The advanced SMRs currently under development in the U.S. represent a variety of sizes, technology options, and deployment scenarios. These advanced reactors, envisioned to vary in size from a couple megawatts up to hundreds of megawatts, can be used for power generation, process heat, desalination, or other industrial uses. SMRs can employ light water as a coolant or other non-light water coolants such as a gas, liquid metal, or molten salt.

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