European Commission Approves State Measures Supporting NUWARD Project

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €300 million French measure to support NUWARD – EDF (ENS Corporate Member) subsidiary – in researching and developing small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs).

The measure will contribute to achieving the strategic objectives of the European industrial strategy and the European Green Deal, as the Commission said.

This grant of up to €300 million will cover the R&D project until early 2027.

The measure will support NUWARD in sizing the modules and components of the SMRs and validating their integration in the SMRs by means of numerical simulators and laboratory tests.

NUWARD will also carry out industrialisation studies relating to the modular design and mass production of SMRs. Finally, the measure will also support NUWARD in the preparation of the required safety demonstrations for the approval of the project by the national nuclear safety authorities.

Read the European Commission Press Release.

The NUWARD consortium, led by EDF, brings together TechnicAtomeNaval Group, and other ENS Corporate Members like the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), and Framatome.

Furthermore, the consortium recently signed several cooperation agreements and memoranda with companies like Tractebel, Ansaldo Nucleare (both ENS Corporate Members), and Respect Energy.

NUWARD design will consist of a 340 MWe pressurized water SMR plant with two reactors of 170 MWe eachIt will be based on first-class French nuclear-pressurized water reactor technologies.

It will be a multi-purpose plant, with a design that can be adapted for several uses including green hydrogen production, desalinisation and heat cogeneration.

This is another key attraction of SMRs – their potential uses beyond the production of electricity for established grids. 

The International Energy Agency has noted that SMRs could help provide flexibility in countries with large electricity grids or be used in countries or regions with small electricity grids that would not be appropriate for large baseload nuclear power plants.