Resource Requirements and Proliferation Risks Associated with Small Modular Reactors

Saturday, 15 February 2014
Columbus EF (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
M.V. Ramana , Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
We analyze the contours of an expanded nuclear generation capacity and the associated fuel cycles. We find that SMRs based on light-­water reactor technology have higher resource requirements as compared to gigawatt-­scale reactors. SMRs with long-lived cores have much lower resource requirements but a higher fissile content in the spent fuel. These characteristics translate into increased proliferation risks unless they are offset by reactor design features or dedicated safeguards approaches.