Small modular reactors in the Australian context

Speaker: Dr Ben Heard, Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd

4 pm AEST Tuesday 2 Nov 2021.

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Ben Heard will discuss his recent study on Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) in the Australian Context recently published by the Minerals Council of Australia.

Small modular reactors are an evolution of nuclear power generation technologies. Currently in use for maritime applications, including surface ships and submarines, SMRs are under active development in fourteen countries.

The study reviewed three of the most advanced SMR designs that are currently undergoing regulatory approval – NuScale’s Power Module, GE-Hitachi’s BWRX 300 and Terrestrial Energy’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor.

Small modular reactors (SMR) are bringing to market greater diversity in nuclear technologies, with lower projected costs, greater flexibility, greater versatility, and advanced safety cases. Now that Australia has committed to building nuclear-powered submarines, Australia will need to develop the skills and expertise to support the new fleet. This capacity could also support the deployment of SMRs.

Ben Heard

This presentation will discuss the challenges and current status of global innovation towards commercialisation of small modular reactors, discusses potential future cost outcomes of the technology, and the potential influence of regulation in either supporting or hindering the full expression of the potential of these technologies.

About  Dr Ben Heard

Ben Heard is a well recognised and experienced advocate for the beneficial uses of nuclear technologies.  He is a doctoral-qualified energy analyst and modeller (University of Adelaide), who modelled the integration of nuclear and renewable technologies to achieve affordable, reliable electricity supply for the National Electricity Market of Australia. He is also a masters-qualified sustainability professional (Monash University). Ben works as a Senior Consultant with Frazer-Nash Consultancy, an international systems engineering firm. He is an environmental advisor to Terrestrial Energy, a Canadian-based developer of the Integral Molten Salt Reactor. Ben is a regular conference fixture at international, national and state fora in nuclear, mining and major projects, discussing contemporary challenges and opportunities in the nuclear sector and a regular contributor to print, radio and TV media.