Development of small modular reactors: in collaboration with the safety regulators of Finland and the Czech Republic, ASN is initiating an unprecedented joint preliminary examination of the NUWARD™ reactor project

Published on 06/07/2022 at 09:39

Information notice

On 10 June 2022, the French (ASN), Finnish (STUK) and Czech (SUJB) regulators, along with their respective technical support organisations[1], began the preliminary examination of the main safety options of the NUWARD™ small modular reactor project sponsored by EDF[2].

This  tripartite initiative, launched by ASN in the first quarter of 2022, is a first in Europe. It aims to carry out a joint assessment of the main safety options envisaged by EDF, notably the target safety objectives, the safety approach used in the design, the use of passive systems and the integration of two reactor modules within a single facility.

This initiative will also use a concrete case to identify the opportunities and the questions raised by small modular reactors in terms of safety and adaptation to the various national regulatory frameworks.

The experience and the conclusions of this multilateral examination of an advanced-design small modular reactor project will lead to tangible progress in the harmonisation and convergence of the licensing processes applicable to such reactors.

ASN, STUK and SUJB will in particular be sharing their experience and the conclusions of their joint assessment of the safety options with their European counterparts, under the community initiative on SMR development launched by the European Union in 2021.

[1] To carry out this work, ASN will draw on the expertise of IRSN (French Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety).

[2] The NUWARD™ project is a power plant concept consisting of two pressurised water reactors of 170 MWe each. This project belongs to the category of small modular reactors, known internationally by the acronym SMR.

Date of last update : 07/11/2022