Small Reactor Development Gathers Speed for Decarbonization

Economy Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 12 (Jiji Press)--Small modular reactors, which have lower power output than conventional nuclear reactors, are attracting attention as next-generation technology suited for a decarbonized society.

With government aid offered in the United States and other major countries, manufacturers have stepped up the development of SMRs, which generate 300,000 kilowatts or less of electricity, or under one-third of the output levels of conventional reactors. Manufacturers aim to mass-produce SMRs at factories, like aircraft, to shorten construction periods and curb project expenses.

Hopes are growing for SMRs due to their stability and flexibility, offsetting the weakness of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, which are vulnerable to changes in weather conditions.

But some experts warn that high costs for power generation may prove an impediment to ongoing efforts to put them into commercial use.

An enormous vessel, 144 meters long, is anchored at a port in Pevek in northeastern Russia's Chukotka autonomous okrug. Housing two small reactors with total output of 70,000 kilowatts, the ship serves as a floating nuclear power plant that supplies electricity to the region.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press