Accelerating SMRs for Net Zero: NEA International Workshop on the Economics of SMRs

The NEA will host an international workshop on the economics of small modular reactors (SMRs) at Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa, Canada, on Tuesday, 27 February 2024. This international workshop aims to assess recent progress in SMR deployment and discuss how different policy frameworks, deployment strategies, and delivery models will influence the overall economics of SMRs. Additionally, the event will draw insights from comparable industries that have achieved cost reductions through serial construction, identifying potential approaches for SMR projects.

Global momentum behind the adoption of SMRs as a competitive, low-carbon energy source in the pursuit of net zero goals continues to grow. NEA analysis indicates that SMRs can play a crucial role in fulfilling the commitment made by 25 countries at COP28 to triple installed nuclear capacity by 2050 in support of net zero targets. This role encompasses addressing challenges in hard-to-abate sectors, such as replacing coal power plants with on-grid power, substituting diesel generators with off-grid heat and power for remote mining operations, providing high-temperature heat to replace fossil fuel cogeneration in heavy industries, and serving as marine propulsion to replace heavy-fuel oil in merchant shipping.

To meet this diverse and growing demand, SMRs bring a number of unique design features that support both their safety case and economics. This includes integral designs that contribute to a robust inherent safety case, low core inventories to reduce the need for emergency planning zones, improved modularisation and manufacturability that would transform nuclear new builds delivery models, and enhanced flexibility for nuclear energy to further support variable renewables integration in the electricity mix.

While developers of SMRs continue to make significant strides on the first demonstration projects, crucial questions remain regarding deployment pathways for a widespread global rollout, delivery models, and the realisation of cost competitiveness through “economies of multiples.” Simultaneously, achieving these goals necessitates fostering government-to-government, public-private, and business-to-business co-operation to expedite the large-scale deployment of SMRs.

The outcomes of this workshop will contribute valuable insights to the first NEA Accelerating SMRs for Net Zero Summit scheduled for September 2024 in Paris. This summit, as the capstone of the NEA's new initiative on Accelerating SMRs for Net Zero launched at COP28, will bring together senior government officials and industry leaders to discuss key policy priorities and international co-operation aimed at expediting the deployment of SMRs.

Further information


Registrations for this event are now closed.


This will be an in-person workshop, with no hybrid or virtual option to attend.