Brussels announced on Friday the launch of a European industrial alliance in nuclear power to accelerate the deployment of future small modular reactors (SMR), a promising technology to decarbonize the industry within ten years.
This announcement is part of a recent return to favor of nuclear power within European institutions under the influence of a dozen EU countries, including France, Sweden and Poland, which are counting on this decarbonized energy to achieve their climate objectives.
A technology still in development
SMRs (“small modular reactors”) are nuclear reactors that are much smaller than conventional power plants. They can be manufactured in the factory before being transported to the installation site. The technology is still in development and is the subject of international competition.
More flexible and less expensive than large reactors, SMRs will be able to replace gas, oil or coal power plants. They will be able to provide electricity and heat for industry and district heating or to produce low-carbon hydrogen.
“By strengthening cooperation at EU level, the Alliance will accelerate the deployment of the first SMRs in the EU by the early 2030s,” the European Commission said in a statement.
A call for applications
On Friday, it launched a first call for applications until April 12, aimed at electricity suppliers, nuclear industry companies, financial institutions, research organizations, training centers and civil society organizations.
The objective is to encourage the establishment of a European sector. In particular, this involves identifying and filling technological or industrial gaps and promoting cooperation between the different stakeholders.