The Voices get involved in the European Industrial Alliance on SMRs

SMRs (small modular reactors), both third- and fourth-generation, are a key area of innovation for the nuclear industry, with both established players and start-ups seeking to promote a radically different approach to the race for power that we have seen in recent decades.

To this end, the European Commission has launched the European SMR Industrial Alliance, with the aim of supporting the deployment of these small reactors in Europe by 2030. Voices of Nuclear has chosen to take part in this alliance to take a socially aware and demanding look at this promising new ecosystem.

The first General Assembly of the European Industrial Alliance on Small Modular Reactors (EU SMR Alliance) was held on 29 and 30 May 2024 in Brussels.

The main areas of work were presented, and we joined several technical working groups that are important for civil society.

💰 Financing

Our presence in this working group is particularly important to us for several reasons:

– first and foremost, the financing of new nuclear power, like the cycle and supply chain facilities, will continue for a long time to come to rely on direct or indirect support from state budgets or the European Commission, and therefore from the public. In this respect, we believe that a citizen’s perspective is legitimate, not to say essential. This presence would also enable us to educate the public.

– secondly, a number of financing schemes could be devised that involve citizens, whether by investing their savings in state programmes, or directly via dedicated financing vehicles in specific projects, as players in a given area. Creative models have emerged, from the Mankala model to the participatory financing model for renewable energy, which future nuclear industry users and local authorities may wish to emulate.

– Finally, we consider that a tête-à-tête between financiers and the financed is not desirable, and that a few players outside the stakes, with a more rational, and yet informed, relationship to the subject will be necessary to ensure that exchanges remain anchored in reality.

🏭 Industrial applications

SMRs extend the scope of nuclear reactors with the production of heat (district heating network, industry) or synthetic fuel (hydrogen, alternative fuels) for example.

These applications have the potential to provide decarbonisation solutions in new sectors and for new uses. The aim of our citizen’s perspective is to help determine where, how quickly, with what priority and at what price these solutions should be developed.

🇪🇺 Public Engagement

The raison d’être of the Voices is complementary to the previous aspects: the commitment of civil society cannot be achieved without dialogue with citizens in order to respond to their questions and expectations.

These working groups will begin their work between the end of June and October.