Small Modular Nuclear - GS Paper 3 - Science and Technology 

Small Modular Nuclear – GS Paper 3 – Science and Technology 

Small Modular Nuclear 


Small modular reactors (SMRs) are advanced nuclear reactors that have a power capacity of up to 300 MW(e) per unit, which is about one-third of the generating capacity of traditional nuclear power reactors. SMRs, which can produce a large amount of low-carbon electricity, are:


Small – Physically a fraction of the size of a conventional nuclear power reactor.

Modular – Making it possible for systems and components to be factory-assembled and transported as a unit to a location for installation.

Reactors – Harnessing nuclear fission to generate heat to produce energy.



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In comparison to traditional Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs), SMRs are built with decreased core damage frequencies (the probability that an accident may damage the nuclear fuel) and source terms (a measure of radioactive contamination). For added safety, they also feature improved seismic isolation.


The possibility for the uncontrolled release of radioactive elements into the environment is reduced by the fact that SMR designs are more straightforward than those of traditional NPPs and incorporate a number of passive safety mechanisms.

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When reputable firms with experience in producing NPPs, like BHEL, L&T, or Godrej Industries, produce SMRs for India and the rest of the globe with technology transfer from overseas, the costs for India will drop most dramatically. By attracting “green” financing from the Green Climate Fund and foreign investors, zero-carbon nuclear power will be able to grow without unduly straining the government exchequer.

As of 2023, there are more than eighty modular reactor designs under development in 19 countries, and the first SMR units are in operation in Russia and China.

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