International Atomic Energy Agency in co-operation with the
OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and the Uranium Institute

hosted by the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plants Authority
on behalf of the Government of Egypt

International Seminar on Status and Prospects for Small
and Medium Sized Reactors

Cairo, Egypt
27 - 31 May 2001

Summary Report


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    Nuclear power is an important contributor to the world's electricity needs. At the end of 1999, 433 nuclear power plants were in operation in 30 IAEA Member States, generating slightly more than 16% of global electricity, while 37 nuclear power plants were under construction in 13 Member States. Last year, seventeen countries relied on nuclear power for 25% or more of their electricity supply. Much of nuclear power is still generated in industrialized countries, but a number of developing countries have already deployed nuclear power projects or are considering doing so. During the early years of nuclear power deployment, the plants entering service were dominated by what are now considered small (less than 300 MW(e) ) and medium (300 to 700 MW(e)) reactors. In the late 1970s, the balance shifted to larger size plants to serve the requirements of industrialized countries. However, since the early 1990s, the increased interest of developing countries in nuclear power, mainly in Asia, has shifted the focus of efforts in the direction of small and medium sized reactors (SMRs). Also, in industrialised countries, electricity market deregulation is calling for power generation flexibility that SMRs may offer.

    Apart from electricity generation, SMRs are of particular interest for non-electrical applications of nuclear energy, such as desalination of sea water and district heating. These applications are also important for many developing countries, where nuclear power can play an important role. Indeed, with potable water recognized as a vital need in many developing countries, there has been much research and development in the area of nuclear desalination to produce potable water competitively.

    Since 1997, the IAEA's General Conference has adopted a resolution every year in support of strengthened Agency activities relating to nuclear desalination and small and medium reactors. Many countries including Argentina, Canada, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, and the USA have ongoing programmes on SMRs with innovative technologies.


    The aim of this Seminar is to provide a forum for the exchange of information by experts and policy makers from developed and developing countries on the technical, economic, environmental, and social aspects of SMR development and implementation in the 21st century, and to make this information available to all interested IAEA Member States.

    The programme of the Seminar will be of interest to management level persons and policy makers in electricity generating companies, reactor design organizations, hardware manufacturing companies, nuclear research centres, as well as government decision makers who wish to understand the advances in technology and the status of new reactor designs for meeting near and medium term energy needs.


    The Seminar will focus on economic, technical, and strategic issues for the implementation of evolutionary and innovative small and medium sized reactors to meet the near and long term needs for energy throughout the world. The Seminar will feature the presentation of invited papers, contributed papers, and posters. There will also be panel discussions, exhibits and technical tours.

    Keynote Addresses

    Keynote addresses will provide information on global energy demand and supply, international trends impacting the development and introduction of SMRs, the non-nuclear competition to SMRs (including predicted technological advances) and the most important features of these reactors(safety, environment and economic competition with other energy sources). They will establish the context within which individual features of SMRs can be discussed in more detail throughout the meeting.

    Session 1: Economics and Financing

    This session will consider aspects of economics and financing that are important for the introduction of SMRs. Financial models and arrangements will be described (considering first of a kind plants, return on investment, and operating costs). Opportunities for cost reduction through innovative design approaches will be discussed and presentations will be made on market analysis, in order to better understand the challenges and opportunities for the economic competitiveness of SMRs.

    Session 2: Applications and Experience

    This session will describe the experience around the world in the operation of SMRs, first with a global overview presented by the IAEA. Following that presentation, there will be a more detailed discussion of experience with specific examples of SMR introduction followed by discussions of their application for power production, heating, and desalination.

    Session 3: SMR Technology and Design

    This session will provide a forum to describe in more detail the many approaches to SMR technology and design. In doing so, it will provide the participants with a better understanding of recent technology advances and new design concepts. It will include papers on new developments in SMR design, considering both evolutionary and innovative approaches.

    Following those presentations will be discussions on advanced fuel cycles, including considerations of proliferation resistance, economics and technology. Research and development activities to support the various concepts will then be discussed, followed by presentations on advanced manufacturing, production, construction and decommissioning. The range of presentations in this session will provide the participants with an understanding of existing and future technology for SMRs. It will also include an in-depth oral summary of the poster session.

    Session 4: Safety, Licensing and Regulation

    The international aspects of safety and licensing, along with innovative designs and their benefits for safety, will be discussed. SMRs offer the possibility of enhanced passive safety features and simpler safety systems. If SMRs of a given design are produced for sale in many countries, it is important that safety requirements are satisfied without requiring many changes in different countries for the same design. These new approaches may well require different methods of analysis and testing for safety, and those implications will be discussed. The session will begin with a discussion of the internationalization of SMR safety and licensing, followed by presentations on the safety and licensing of innovative SMRs.

    Session 5: Deployment Environment for SMRs

    For the producers of SMRs, it is important to understand the different environments within which their products will be deployed. The papers in this session will discuss those issues from the perspective of both developing and developed countries. For example, it will include deployment issues having to do with the available infrastructure to support construction and operation of the plants, the existing technology base, requirements for technology transfer and the need for training operating and support personnel.

    Panel 1: Meeting the Challenges of SMR Deployment

    Major challenges to the deployment of SMRs include the issues of the fuel cycle including waste, safeguards, public understanding and acceptance, economics and the introduction of novel technologies. This panel, made up of leading experts from around the world, will consider each in turn and provide an opportunity to better understand how each of the issues may be integrated into a successful approach.

    Panel 2: Incentives for the Introduction of SMRs in Developing Countries

    Representatives from developing countries will describe their incentives for introducing SMRs into their countries. The purpose of the session is to develop a better understanding of what most interests the potential customers for SMRs. With that understanding, better criteria for design and deployment can be developed.

    Panel 3: Solutions Leading to Increased Deployment of SMRs

    On the basis of the preceding information, solutions to the problems of increased deployment of SMRs will be discussed by a panel of international experts. The discussion will begin with an assessment of opportunities for international co-operation, moving to issues of licensing and regulation, then to co-ordinated research and development, and finally to financial matters. The panel will provide participants with an opportunity to hear from experts in the areas and to introduce their questions in a forum where the issues can be addressed in an integrated way.

    Poster Session

    In addition to oral presentations, a poster session will be held Monday evening during a reception. The posters will remain on display throughout the meeting. This will allow more information to be presented than would otherwise be possible, especially in those areas dealing with the technical aspects of SMR designs. An oral summary of the papers will be made at an early stage of the meeting and the papers associated with the poster session will be published in the proceedings.


    Companies will be invited by the host Government organization to display exhibits (posters and models) of SMRs for the duration of the Seminar. General design descriptions of the SMRs will also be presented. These descriptions are expected to focus on key design measures aiming at improving the economics of SMRs as well as on the innovative aspects of the designs.

    Technical tours

    Two optional tours will be arranged by the host:

    • Thursday, 31 May a tour to the Atomic Energy Authority and the Electricity Dispatch Center in Cairo

    • Thursday, 31 May and Friday, 1 June a two day tour to the Hydro Power Station in Aswan and nearby archaeological sites.

    The price of the tours will be borne by participants. Interested participants are requested to mark their preference accordingly on the Participation Form. Further details on the tours will be sent to participants approximately two to three months before the Seminar.


    Contributed papers on issues falling within the topics of Session 3, "SMR Technology and Design" and of Session 4, "Safety, Licensing and Regulation" may be submitted. In particular papers are requested on innovative approaches to design, development and deployment. Papers are also encouraged from developing countries which address their future interests, needs and requirements for deployment of SMRs. All papers - apart from invited review papers - must present original work; they should not have been published elsewhere.

    Deadline for submission

    A completed Form for Submission of a Paper, together with the Participation Form and a copy of an extended synopsis of 800 words (i.e. two A4 format pages of single spaced typing or the equivalent, including any tables or diagrams and a few pertinent references) must be sent (in English) to the competent official authority for transmission to the IAEA by 10 November 2000 (see Section 13 below). In addition, this extended synopsis should be sent electronically to the Scientific Secretary, Mr. D. Majumdar (e-mail address: [email protected]).

    The synopsis should give enough information on the contents of the proposed paper to enable the selection committee to evaluate it. Introductory and general matters should not be included. The synopsis - if accepted - will be reproduced in unedited form in the Book of Extended synopses; therefore, the original must be submitted as camera-ready copy. The general style and presentation should be as in the attached sample.

    Paper/poster acceptance

    In order to provide ample time for discussion, the number of papers that can be accepted for oral presentation is limited. Authors will be informed whether their papers have been accepted for presentation at a regular session or as a poster on the basis of the extended synopsis. The IAEA, however, reserves the right to refuse the presentation or publication of any paper that does not meet the expectations based on the information given in the extended synopsis.

    Further details concerning the written and oral presentation at the meeting will be sent to authors in due course.


    All persons wishing to participate in the meeting are requested to complete a Participation Form and send it as soon as possible to the competent official authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or national atomic energy authority) for subsequent transmission to the IAEA. A participant will be accepted only if the Participation Form is transmitted through the government of a Member State of the IAEA or by an organization invited to participate.

    Participants whose designations have been received by the IAEA will be notified directly two to three months before the meeting.


    No registration fee is charged to participants.

    The costs of technical tours are borne by participants. Participants wishing to join one of the tours are requested to indicate accordingly on the Participation Form.

    As a general rule, the IAEA does not pay the cost of attendance, i.e. travel and living expenses, of participants. However, limited funds are available to help meet the cost of attendance of selected specialists from developing countries with low economic resources. Generally not more than one grant will be awarded to any one country.

    If governments wish to apply for a grant on behalf of one of their specialists, they should address specific requests to the IAEA Secretariat to this effect. Governments should ensure the applications for grants:

    (a) be submitted by 10 November 2000

    (b) be accompanied by a duly completed and signed Grant Application Form.

    Applications which do not comply with the conditions mentioned under (a) and (b) cannot be considered.

    The grants awarded will be in the form of lump sums usually covering only part of the cost of attendance.


    The proceedings of the meeting will be published in camera-ready (unedited) form as a CD ROM by the IAEA as soon as possible after the meeting. All participants will receive a free copy of the proceedings.


    The working language of the Seminar will be English only. All communications, synopses and papers must be sent to the Seminar Secretariat in English.


    Information on the Seminar as available will be placed on the IAEA website:

    A preliminary programme of the Seminar will be sent to participants before the meeting.

    The final programme and Book of Extended Synopses will be distributed at registration.


    Detailed information on accommodation and other items will be sent directly to all designated participants well in advance of the meeting.

  11. VISA

    Participants who require a visa to enter Egypt should submit the necessary application to the nearest diplomatic or consular representative of Egypt as soon as possible.


    International Atomic Energy Agency
    Vienna International Centre
    Wagramer Strasse 5
    P.O. Box 100
    A-1400 Vienna

    Telephone No.: (+43) - 1 - 2600 (0) plus extension
    Telex No.: (+43) - 1 - 12645
    Telefax No.: (+43) - 1 - 26007
    Electronic mail: [email protected]

    The Scientific Secretaries of the Seminar are Mr. D. Majumdar of the Planning and Economic Studies Section (telephone extension 22727, e-mail address: [email protected]) and Mr. J. Kendall of the Nuclear Power Technology Development Section (telephone extension 22820, e-mail address: [email protected]), both of the Department of Nuclear Energy. Communications related to technical aspects of the Seminar should be addressed to Mr. D. Majumdar. Meeting organization is provided by Ms. K. Morrison, Conference Service Section, Division of Conference and Document Services (telephone extension 21317 & ext. 21311, e-mail address: [email protected]).


    The Participation Form and the Form for the Submission of a Paper, together with two copies of each synopsis, and, if applicable, the Grant Application Form, should be sent to the competent official authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, national atomic energy authority) for transmission to the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    Subsequent correspondence on scientific matters should be sent to the Scientific Secretary and correspondence on administrative matters to the IAEA Conference Service Section.

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