The European Commission has launched the Small Modular Reactor Alliance to accelerate the development and deployment of SMRs in Europe by the early 2030s.

With SMRs expected to represent the next generation of nuclear technology and a considerable research effort well under way, the Alliance is intended to help coordinate further developments with closer cooperation among the involved stakeholders to deliver the technology in the fastest and most efficient way.

In particular the Alliance, the latest of the region’s industrial alliances, is aimed to reinforce the nuclear supply chain in Europe by identifying and addressing gaps in its manufacturing and innovation capacity.

Specific terms of reference include supporting SMR project promoters to develop, demonstrate and deploy their projects in the EU market and beyond and establishing ways to inform and engage potential industrial users of SMRs, such as energy-intensive industries, hydrogen producers and urban districts.

The Alliance also is tasked to focus on facilitating and coordinating projects to address future research and innovation needs and establishing a nuclear skills academy as well as promoting public engagement about SMRs.

“[The] 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,” said commissioner for energy, Kadri Simson, at the launch.

“We want this Alliance to deliver benefits in very practical terms – through full engagement on nuclear safety, using European supply chains and by boosting innovation for new technologies.”

The launch of the Alliance, while long mooted, comes following an EC communication on Europe’s 2040 climate target, which highlighted the need for all clean energy technologies, including nuclear, to deliver on it.

To achieve its goals, the Alliance will be required to formulate a strategic action plan, together with technology roadmaps, to identify inter alia the most promising and cost-effective SMR technologies, investment barriers and future needs for research.

Other potential actions include establishing ways to engage potential SMR industrial users of SMRs and strengthening exchanges between project promoters and regulators in the EU.

The call for membership is now open and running to April 12 for applications from stakeholders including vendors, utilities, specialized nuclear companies, financial institutions, research organizations, training centers and civil society organizations.

An inaugural general assembly for the Small Modular Reactor Alliance is expected in late spring.

Originally published by Power Engineering International.

This post appeared first on Power Engineering.