Who is the leader in SMR nuclear reactors?  We know the OECD report – Economics

Who is the leader in SMR nuclear reactors? We know the OECD report – Economics

In the Seasonal Small Reactor (SMR) ranking, the Nuclear Energy Agency evaluated 21 projects from around the world, ranking them in six categories: license, location, financing, supply, customers, and fuel on a scale of 1 to 6.


The small Russian KLT-40S reactor scored the most – 30. Two such reactors, with a capacity of about 50 MWe each, are located on the barge “Akademik Lomonosov” which is anchored on the shores of Chukotka and has been operating for three years.

Seasonal small reactors #SMRs be able to reshape the energy market while supporting global efforts to decarbonize electricity.

New @OECD_NEA The SMR Dashboard is a tool to help track SMR’s progress toward distribution and marketing.

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– OECD NEA ⚛️ Nuclear Energy Agency (@OECD_NEA) March 13, 2023


The CAREM project in Argentina and the ACP100 project in China both secured an impressive score of 28 points, placing them in a notable second position. Argentina’s pioneering endeavor involves the construction of a 30 MW power plant in Atucha, entirely financed by the government.

Additionally, the Argentine authorities have forged non-binding cooperation agreements with Bolivia and Indonesia, exploring potential opportunities for the sale of this cutting-edge technology. Meanwhile, China’s state-owned CNNC has successfully completed the construction of the first ACP100 demonstrator after a dedicated two-year effort.

Furthermore, noteworthy advancements can be observed in the realm of Chinese small modular reactors (SMRs), specifically the remarkable ACPR50S design. This groundbreaking project is currently underway on a vessel intended for deployment in the Yellow Sea, where it will ultimately provide power to the drilling platforms of the esteemed Chinese oil company, CNOOC.

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This is another SMR mill from China

Another SMR is already working in China – HTR-PM. It is a gas-cooled high-temperature ball bed mill. However, due to the fact that there are currently no plans to commercialize it, NEA rated it lower than other projects.

The two top-rated projects in the West are VOYGR’s NuScale reactor and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s BWRX-300.

NuScale has secured a substantial battery customer located in Idaho Falls, Utah, within the United States. The construction of this significant project is anticipated to reach completion by the conclusion of the present decade.

In a bid to expand their nuclear capabilities, Poland’s KGHM and the Romanian enterprise RoPower have expressed a keen interest in embarking on NuScale reactor projects. Presently, NuScale is actively pursuing favorable outcomes in the form of positive technology reviews from the esteemed regulatory body, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), for their highly advanced 77MWe VOYGR model. It is worth noting that a previous iteration of the reactor, boasting a capacity of 50 MW, had obtained NRC approval despite lacking potential clientele.

Where will PKN Orlen’s SMR model be built?

Conversely, the inaugural BWRX-300 reactor will be meticulously erected at the esteemed Darlington Power Station in Canada. Ontario Electric Generation, a paramount advocate for environmental stewardship, has submitted an imperative application to the regulatory body for the acquisition of a construction license, while the Canadian development bank has bestowed an unprecedented sum of nearly $1 billion to bolster the progress of this pioneering initiative.

PKN Orlen is strategically poised to forge a partnership with Synthos to undertake the construction of reactors of such caliber. The collaborative entity, OSGE, has recently unveiled a preliminary list of seven prospective sites, exemplifying their commitment to this venture. Esteemed clients, namely OSGE, OPG, and the prominent American company TVA, are actively supporting and financing the meticulous calibration efforts of the groundbreaking BWRX-300 project.

More SMRs from Russia, England, and France

NEA has assigned a marginally inferior rating to the Russian RITM-200 projects in comparison to BWRX. Boasting enhanced iterations of the technology found aboard the esteemed barge “Akademik Lomonosov,” ongoing efforts are being diligently pursued across multiple sites in Siberia and various maritime vessels. The RITM-200 model serves as the prodigious power source for Russian icebreakers.

According to the NEA’s perspective, expeditious initiation of subsequent undertakings featuring lower Small Modular Reactor (SMR) tiers is imperative within the forthcoming years. These encompass the pioneering ventures undertaken by esteemed entities such as Rolls-Royce, X-energy, Kairos Power, Terra Power, and France’s EDF.

The aforementioned inventory comprises additional initiatives that have been assessed with diminished ratings attributed to factors such as the nascent licensing phase, absence of definitive commercial strategies, ambiguous financial outlooks, inadequately developed supply chains, and deficient fuel provisions.