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Workshop on the Security of Small Modular Reactors

05-06 Mar 2019 Vienna, Austria
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Workshop on the Security of Small Modular Reactors

The World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) is pleased to announce an International Workshop on the Security of Small Modular Reactors that will take place at Arcotel Kaiserwasser in Vienna, Austria, from 5 – 6 March 2019.


The emergence of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) has noteworthy potential to provide energy in numerous countries all over the world. The important reduction in costs, maintenance, and ease of operation are strong incentives for the use of SMRs in a wide range of environments and geographical locations. SMRs are inherently safer than commercial nuclear power plants in operation, could be located closer to densely populated areas, and effectively provide energy where needs are. Moreover, due to their flexibility, SMRs could play a key role in the emerging decentralised power supply energy market providing clean, safe, competitive and reliable energy while protecting the environment.

The security implications associated with these new reactors need to be identified and addressed as early as possible. The design and technological choices will impact the risk picture and might require evolution in the regulatory approach. Considering nuclear security from an early stage will support the acceptance and successful implementation of this new technology. One key milestone for the sustainable operation of these new facilities is to reduce the cost of security without compromising safety or security.

Note that the event image was provided by Rolls-Royce.

Objectives of the workshop

The purpose of this workshop was to review and discuss all security matters related to the design, commissioning and operation of Small Modular Reactors including:

1. SMRs technologies and their impact on security

  • What will be the main security risks associated with SMRs? How do they differ from the ones for current NPPs?
  • What are the different SMR technologies (LWR, FNR, MSR, etc)? How do they differentiate in term of security?
  • Is security a business enabler for SMRs? What are the possible options to reduce the security risks while keeping the costs down?
  • What is the expected cost of security? Are we anticipating a significant reduction in term of security costs? Will new technologies, in particular those remotely operated, be a
    game changer?
  • What kind of legal considerations need to be considered for ownership of SMRs and do they impact security governance and oversight?

2. Security by design / Nuclear safety and security integration

  • How can you implement security by design during siting, design, constructions, operation and decommissioning of SMRs?
  • How can you implement defence-in-depth for SMRs?
  • Is security a relevant and decision-making criterion for selecting underground, above ground, underwater or portable units?
  • What is the basis for security design? Do all vendors have minimum security standards? What is the role of Design Basis Threats in the design process?
  • What are the security benefits of nuclear safety design basis events for SMRs (e.g. demonstrating Aircraft Impact Rule (AIR): Reactor core remains cooled and the containment remains intact; spent fuel pool cooling or spent fuel pool integrity is maintained)?Are we expecting any security challenge from the operations and safety choices?
  • What are the specific risks related to IT and IC systems? How will cybersecurity issues be dealt with? What are cybersecurity challenges from an insider threat perspective?

3. Impact of SMRs on the security of the fuel cycle facilities

  • What are the expected changes in the fuel cycle processes and practices? Do they have any security implications?
  • What transport needs are foreseen? If SMRs are being transported turnkey, how will security be implemented during transport? Could international transport be an issue?

4. Impact of SMRs on the regulatory framework

  • What is the expected impact of SMRs on licensing and inspection practices?
  • From a regulatory perspective, how does the security of SMR affect the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process? Is security at the same level of importance as safety and environmental implications of new SMR designs?
  • Would additional regulations be necessary for countries already operating NPPs? What would be needed for newcomer countries? Would there be new border regulations and agreements between different nations when transporting SMRs?
  • How would SMRs affect the size of Emergency Planning Zones (EPZ)? Would there be a new assessment of Loss of Large Areas (LOLA) and Integrated Response
    Planning (IRP)?
  • What security performance testing measures would be necessary and how would they be conducted at the site?

Workshop Process

The workshop was held in English. In line with WINS’ innovative approach to Best Practice workshops, this event was interactive and professionally facilitated. Several invited expert speakers gave presentations, and participants explored the topics and shared their experiences and lessons learned in breakout sessions. An instant electronic voting system was used to allow participants to provide their views anonymously on specific questions using electronic keypads. Discussions were subject to Chatham House rules (what was said can be reported, but not attributed).

Targeted Audience

This workshop aimed at bringing together experts and leading thinkers in SMRs and security matters. Attendees were expected to meet their own costs for travel and accommodation. Workshop cost were met by WINS. No registration fee was required.

This 2-day event targeted a group of 25 delegates and was organised in March 2019 in Vienna, Austria.

We welcomed applications from the following:

  • SMR vendors
  • Nuclear engineers and system designers
  • Leading researchers and practitioners in SMRs
  • Experts in data analytics and associated technological fields
  • Business managers who approve security expenditure
  • Security managers
  • Regulators and other governmental organisations
  • Transport security experts
  • Security experts, consultants and vendors

Workshop Venue

The event took place in:

ARCOTEL Kaiserwasser Wien

WINS is promoting gender diversity in its events and female participants were highly encouraged to apply to this workshop. As part of our Gender Champions programme, funding support for travel and WINS Academy participation was available.

If you wish to obtain more information on this event, please contact:
Mr. Álvaro Acevedo

Key information

Download the announcement here

Download the agenda here

Members Only

Associated material for this event are available for WINS Members only. Please sign in or register to access documents related to this event.

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