Small Modular Nuclear Reactors


Nuclear Reactors

Centre for Systems Engineering & Innovation Seminar Series by Dr Giorgio Locatelli

On Wednesday 02 November 2016, the Centre for Systems Engineering & Innovation hosted Dr. Giorgio Locatelli during its seminar series. 

Dr. Giorgio Locatelli is a Lecturer of Infrastructure Procurement and Management at the University of Leeds. He has a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering and a PhD in industrial engineering, economics, and management from the Politecnico di Milano. Giorgio started to work on the competitiveness of Small Modular Reactors (SMR) in 2006 with a six months internship in Westinghouse USA focused on the project appraisal of the “IRIS reactor”, one of the first SMR. His PhD dissertation “Model for the economic-strategic integrated evaluation of small/medium nuclear power plants: from the social acceptance to the decommissioning” in 2011 was the first attempt to quantify the economics of SMR.

Giorgio also works as a consultant and visiting academic for several institutions, including the International Atomic Energy Institute, Argonne National Laboratories, etc. He is the author of more than 90 international publications, the majority of them focused on nuclear power, project management, megaprojects.

His membership includes: CEO Council on Transformational megaprojects – World Economic forum, Editorial Board of “International Journal of Project Management” (Elsevier), Editorial Board of “Progress in Nuclear Energy” (Elsevier), Core group of IPMA – SIG – Megaprojects, World Nuclear Organisation  – SMR “Ad hoc” group. He is a chartered engineer and a fellow of the higher education academy.


Large engineering projects are usually delivered overbudget and late and larger project are more likely to have issues with its delivery. This is particularly true for a class of very complex and large projects: nuclear power plants. In Europe and in most of the countries, nuclear power plants are usually delivered over budget and late. However in countries like South Korea nuclear reactors are delivered on time & budget and have excelent operational performance. Plant standardisation and project delivery chain standardisation plays a key role in the South Korea success.  SMR (Small Modular Reactor) is an acronym for a group of nuclear power plant designs “deliberately small” receiving an increasing deal of attention from the industry and policy makers in the UK and overseas. According to their proponents SMR might balance the “diseconomy of scale” with the “economy of multiples” i.e. the delivery of several standardised SMR project might be the key to achieving good project performances. The speech will discuss the empirical evidence for these claims and the business case for SMR in the UK.


Ms Alexandra J Williams

Ms Alexandra J Williams
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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