Page 1

Nuclear Engineering Panel Technical Presentation

Small Modular Reactors – an Option for Australia? Date: Time: Venue: RSVP:

Wednesday, 22nd May 2013 5.30 pm for 6.00 pm Engineers Australia Harricks Auditorium, Ground Floor, 8 Thomas St, Chatswood Register online for catering purposes at the following link:


Tony Irwin, MIET MIEAust CPEng Chairman, Engineers Australia Nuclear Engineering Panel

ABSTRACT: Nuclear power is a proven option for baseload electricity generation with low emissions of carbon dioxide, but most reactor vendors worldwide currently offer power reactors which are too large for the Australian grid system. A market is emerging worldwide for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), with unit sizes from 25 to 200 MWe, for supplying power in remote locations or to small electricity grids. Several water-cooled SMR designs have now progressed beyond the conceptual stage to detailed design and licence application. In the longer term, there are exciting developments in hand for small modular fast reactors. This presentation will review the status of SMRs worldwide and identify the opportunities and challenges in considering SMRs as an option for electricity generation in Australia. BIOGRAPHY: Tony Irwin has a degree in electrical power engineering and worked for British Energy (formerly the Central Electricity Generating Board) in the UK for more than thirty years, commissioning and operating eight nuclear power plants. Following the Chernobyl accident, he worked with Russian reactor operations engineers to improve their safety culture and was a member of a team that reviewed operating practices at Russian reactors. In 1999, he moved permanently to Australia and joined the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Department of Government and Public Affairs, where he managed fuel strategies and represented Australia at international meetings. When the project to replace ANSTO’s old HIFAR reactor was approved, he was appointed as Reactor Manager for the commissioning and operation of the new OPAL research reactor. Since retiring from ANSTO in late 2009, Tony has been a visiting lecturer for the Master of Nuclear Science course at the ANU. He is chairman of Engineers Australia’s Nuclear Engineering Panel and Technical Director of SMR Nuclear Technology Pty Ltd. For further information, contact Dr Don Higson at

Small Modular Reactors - an Option for Australia (Tony Irwin)  
Small Modular Reactors - an Option for Australia (Tony Irwin)