Expansion of nuclear power technology to new countries – SMRs, safety culture issues, and the need for an improved international safety regime

Budnitz RJ, Rogner H, & Shihab-Eldin A (2018). Expansion of nuclear power technology to new countries – SMRs, safety culture issues, and the need for an improved international safety regime. Energy Policy 119: 535-544. DOI:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.04.051.

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Abstract

This article reviews the status and prospects of nuclear power around the world and provides a perspective on the need to strengthen national and international safety regimes and bolster nuclear safety culture globally – one prerequisite for a sustained role of the technology in the future. It discusses the prospects in countries that have never deployed nuclear power before but have expressed an interest in adding it to their future national energy mixes. Many of these “newcomer” countries are considering small modular reactor (SMR) designs which hold promise for fitting better into their local electricity systems. Thus, the article considers the technical attributes of these designs and analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of SMRs with an emphasis on economics, grid compatibility and most importantly, safety. Attributes of a safety culture are discussed from social and cultural aspects, including topics of good governance and the presence of an independent national regulatory authority. Beyond the need for strong national safety regulations, the article also highlights the need to strengthen the international regulatory regime, if nuclear power is to succeed in achieving the highest levels of safety globally. Finally, the qualities of such a regime are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nuclear reactor safety; Newcomer nuclear countries; Small modular reactors; Safety culture; International nuclear institutions
Research Programs: Transitions to New Technologies (TNT)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 28 May 2018 07:23
Last Modified: 28 May 2018 09:56
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/15289

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