The European Commission Seeks to Develop Small Modular Reactor Technology in the EU

On 4 April 2023, the European Commission announced the signing of the Declaration on EU Small Modular Reactors 2030: Research and Innovation, Education and Training. The Declaration was signed by European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and EU nuclear stakeholders: The European Nuclear Forum, the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP), the European Nuclear Society (ENS) and the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN).

In line with this Declaration, the EU will continue to promote research, innovation, education and training for the safety of European SMRs in support of the EU’s previous partnerships on SMRs.

For those Member States that have decided to include nuclear power in their energy mix, SMR deployment is considered as complementing assets. It is also an opportunity to further enhance nuclear safety (through SMR’s inherent safety functions) and improve grid stability by balancing renewable generation capacity.

In accordance with the Declaration, the Euratom Community has committed to funding research as part of their following programmes: cogeneration for energy-intensive industries, district heating and desalination, and support for hydrogen production for decarbonisation of the industrial, residential and transport sectors.

Based on the example of previous Euratom research programmes, the Commission is launching a first €15 million innovation activity under the Euratom Work Programme 2023-2025 to enhance the safety of European Light Water SMRs. Additionally, the Programme will earmark €12 million in co-financing to enable researchers and industry experts to work together on the safety of Advanced Modular Reactors, with Interested Member States.

Together with the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the Euratom community opens up EU research infrastructures and access to unique nuclear research infrastructures in Europe.