The SMR Microreactor Pitch is organized by the NEA Education, Skills and Technology Framework (NEST) SMR Project sponsored by the Nuclear Energy Agency, the Idaho National Laboratory Emerging Energy Market Analysis Program,  the Small Modular Advanced Reactor Training (SMART) Program funded by NSERC-Canada, and the Fastest Path to Zero Initiative at the University of Michigan.

The goal is to conduct an exercise for student teams to understand the multi-disciplinary challenges in deploying advanced nuclear energy systems, specifically a microreactor. Student teams will prepare and present a deployment scenario, including the technical, economic, regulatory, and social challenges and approaches to overcome these challenges. Each team is provided a mentor team and access to an expert’s network.

The event will take place over a one-week period.  The students will be exposed to lectures on microreactor technology, regulatory aspects of advanced reactors, economic considerations, social acceptance, and policy choices.  They will also be exposed to the programs and facilities of the Idaho National Laboratory that are designed to assist advanced reactor developers.  The event will culminate in student presentations on their deployment plans.

The organizers are very excited about this event and hope that both students and lecturers will learn a lot from the outcomes.


Todd Allen, University of Michigan
Dave Novog, McMaster University
Dawn Scates, Idaho National Laboratory


The NEST SMR program is an NEA program involving the EU, USA and Canada and is dedicated to the training and development of people for the upcoming SMR deployment phase.

The SMART program is a large training program looking to produce more well-rounded and entrepreneurially focused grad students who can succeed in the competitive world of small SMR vendors. It involves six universities and 10 principal investigators and aims to train students to succeed in the new nuclear environment where many small companies co-exist instead of the historical model of one or two major industry players.

The Emerging Energy Market Analysis Initiative is a collaboration between Idaho National Laboratory, University of Michigan, University of Wyoming, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Alaska, and Boise State University. The initiative is dedicated to advancing the understanding of energy market options as the world transitions to new energy futures. The EMA team is distinguished by their expertise spanning engineering and technology, social science, law, economics, natural resource policy, cultural studies, public and regulatory policy, and stakeholder engagement.

The Fastest Path to Zero Initiative at the University of Michigan is an interdisciplinary team of experts, including University of Michigan faculty, staff, and students, working to support communities as they plan and pursue ambitious climate goals. We offer a variety of assessment, siting, and reporting tools to help communities transform their energy systems while adapting to a changing climate. We use big data analytics combined with a passion for human-centered design and engagement.

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