Small reactors won’t replace large stations, but will have a niche in the energy balance-Rosatom head
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Small modular reactors (SMRs) will not compete with large nuclear power stations and cannot replace them, but will occupy their own niche on world energy markets, Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Russian state nuclear power company Rosatom, told a meeting at Expo 2020 in Dubai moderated by Global Energy President Sergey Brilev.

    “Small stations are good in specific places at specific times – places where the power grid cannot be extended, where there is no opportunity to use other energy sources or where they cannot be reached by road and there is therefore no opportunity to bring in large quantities of fuel,” Likhachev said.

    “This is particularly important in areas with a fragile environment. The Arctic is an example. And in that sense, carefully calculated pinpoint decision-making and a solid set of different capacities are required. “

    Likhachev said small modular reactors are in great demand in a wide range of countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Armenia, and not just because of environmental concerns. They are also able to provide a suppky of clean energy for a city with a population of 100,000.

    “But you cannot say that the technological landscape will be made up strictly of small modular reactors. They will be equal participants and may exceed their specific weight in the overall nuclear energy balance, but they cannot be the sole solution,” Likhachev said.

    Because of the unique opportunities they offer, small nuclear stations will provide an addition to the global energy balance, making it more flexible and more efficient, said Kirill Komarov, Rosatom’s First Deputy Director General for Development and International Business.

    “At Rosatom, we believe in the diversity of the energy balance. Small reactors will not replace anything, but they will take up a worthy place in the world-wide energy balance,” Komarov told the Expo 2020 session.

    “They are modular and that reduces the time needed for their construction and they have the potential to reduce cost burdens. They can be used in combination with renewable energy sources, require less capital expenditure compared to large nuclear power stations and because of their modular nature, capacity can be added as required.”

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