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Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and Nuclear Law

IAEA Topical Webinar Series on Nuclear Law

Date and time

Thursday, 10 March 2022
2:00 pm Europe Time (Berlin, GMT+01:00)

Register here →


SMRs are understood in general as newer generation and/or advanced reactors designed to generate typically up to 300 MW(e), whose components and systems can be centrally fabricated and then transported as modules to the sites for installation as demand arises. SMRs are under development for all principal reactor technologies, i.e. water cooled reactors, high temperature gas cooled reactors, liquid-metal-cooled and gas-cooled reactors with fast neutron spectrum, and molten salt reactors. The key driving forces of SMR development are fulfilling the need for flexible power generation for a wider range of users and applications, replacing ageing fossil-fired units, enhancing safety performance, and offering better economic affordability.

The driving forces in the development of SMRs are their specific characteristics and diverse applications. They can be deployed incrementally to closely match increasing energy demand resulting in a moderate financial commitment for countries or regions with smaller electricity grids. SMRs show the promise of significant cost reduction through modularization and factory construction which should further improve the construction schedule and reduce costs. In the area of wider applicability, SMR designs and sizes are better suited for partial or dedicated use in non-electrical applications such as providing heat for industrial processes, seawater desalination, and hydrogen production. Some SMR designs may also serve niche markets, for example by replacing diesel generators in small islands or remote regions. A special category is represented by marine-based SMR like barge-mounted floating power units.

The diversity of SMR technology and potential deployment scenarios, raises questions regarding the applicability of the existing international legal frameworks for the safe and secure uses of nuclear technology, as well as the legislative and regulatory frameworks giving effect to these instruments at the national level.    

For officials from IAEA Member States, the IAEA will hold a webinar on Small Modular Reactors and Nuclear Law which will include an interactive Q&A session. Topics to be addressed include:

  • status of SMR technology and deployment models;
  • relevant legal instruments adopted under the auspices of the IAEA;
  • relevant elements of a national legislative and regulatory framework;
  • applicability of IAEA safety standards to SMRs; and
  • relevant services of the IAEA for Member States.


The Webinar will be held in English.


  • Mr. Stefano Monti, Head, Nuclear Power Technology Development Section, Department of Nuclear Energy, IAEA
  • Mr. Miguel Santini, Senior Nuclear Safety Officer, Regulatory Activities Section, Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, IAEA
  • Ms. Camille Scotto de César, Legal Officer, Nuclear and Treaty Law Section, Office of Legal Affairs, IAEA
  • Mr Sylvain Fanielle, Legal Officer, Non-Proliferation and Policy Making Section, Office of Legal Affairs, IAEA


Mr. Wolfram Tonhauser, Head, Nuclear and Treaty Law Section, Office of Legal Affairs, IAEA

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