To understand the extent of the hype from the nuclear industry and government alike about SMRs one should read the March Nuclear Monitor: https://www.wiseinternational.org/nuclear-monitor, to whom we are indebted for this cartoon and excerpt. “There’s nothing in [this] history that would inspire any confidence in the likelihood of a significant SMR industry developing now. The Soviet Union built eight reactors with a capacity of less than 300 MW ‒ four have been permanently shut down and the remaining four will soon be shut down and replaced by a floating nuclear power plant. The US Army built and operated eight small power reactors beginning in the 1950s, but they proved unreliable and expensive and the program was shut down in 1977. Small Magnox reactors in the UK have all been shut down and no more will be built.
Nothing came of a flurry of interest in SMRs in the 1980s and into the ‘90s. A 1990 article about SMRs by Australian anti-nuclear campaigner John Hallam could have been written this year with scarcely any changes ‒ and perhaps it will be just as fresh 30 years from now. Little has changed and it would be no surprise if the current flurry of interest ‒ already a decade old, with little to show for itself ‒ is no more fruitful than the one 30 years ago”.