Transportation Security Considerations of Small Modular and Mobile Reactors

Ross Peel, George Burnett

Research output: Contribution to conference typesPaperpeer-review

71 Downloads (Pure)


An often-cited characteristic of small modular reactors (SMR) is that they can be transported as complete reactor systems, either for installation at nuclear sites or to remain mobile as transportable nuclear power plants. Various designs of smaller reactors will be transported in a fuelled state. Under some scenarios, the number and distribution of SMRs globally means that the number of transport operations required to support them will be considerable. However, the security challenges associated with moving nuclear material, in any configuration, are distinct to that of a nuclear site. Furthermore, many of these reactors are seeking to use non-standard fuels, some of which will increase the potential consequences should a radiological release occur. Taken together, the novelty of these factors may increase the attractiveness of nuclear transport operations to threat actors who might seek to sabotage or steal highly valuable, sensitive nuclear equipment and/or materials. This paper explores these challenges and suggests a range of potential approaches to delivering enhanced transport security through novel, cost-effective solutions. The paper recommends that reactor developers ensure to consider the transport phase in security planning and do so early enough in the design process to incorporate innovative solutions against current and future adversary capabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2022
EventGeneration 4 and Small Reactors International Conference - Delta Hotels Toronto Airport and Conference Centre, Toronto, Canada
Duration: 3 Oct 20226 Oct 2022


ConferenceGeneration 4 and Small Reactors International Conference
Abbreviated titleG4SR
Internet address


  • Nuclear security
  • Small modular reactors
  • Transport security


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