Technical Challenges in the Emerging SMR Market

Webinar: Technical Challenges in the Emerging SMR Market

Small Modular Reactor technology - the design and construction of smaller and cheaper reactors, is a growing factor in achieving the green and clean energy strategies adopted by the energy sector. While SMRs represent a safe, clean, and reliable method of power production, the technology is only now emerging as a viable option due to advances in technology of construction and design. These new designs operate in ways sometimes quite different from ‘normal’ nuclear power - higher temperatures, pressures, materials, and applications reveal an array of previously unconsidered challenges to safe operation.

In many cases with new designs, most effort is expended in core design and reactor modeling and simulation, but industry experience shows that these new reactors require custom solutions for reactor power and radiation monitoring. There is no such thing as an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution for unique reactors that have not yet seen the light of day. Deferring consideration of the essential aspects of reactor control and instrumentation can cause large delays in these complex projects, potentially killing an otherwise promising concept.

In this webinar, Reuter Stokes and Paragon Energy Solutions will address many of the complex technical challenges confronting the design and implementation of SMR reactor design. Special attention is given to nuclear instrumentation and where innovation on old designs will be necessary to help this emerging market succeed.

Key Learning Objectives
  • Understand the basics of nuclear reactors.
  • Learn the difference between typical commercial power reactors and small modular reactors.
  • Unpack the technical challenges in instrumentation.
  • Determine solutions and the path forward in this market.


Chris Freeman

Chris Freeman
Lead Nuclear Engineer, Reuter-Stokes, a Baker Hughes business

As Lead Nuclear Engineer, Chris oversees the design, modeling, and simulation of new product technology, specializing in harsh environment radiation detectors. He is tasked with testing and troubleshooting new and existing radiation detector designs as well as generating innovations for existing proprietary designs.

Prior to joining Reuter-Stokes in 2019, Chris worked with Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory for five years in advanced nuclear reactor refueling and engineering operations. Chris also brings eight years of experience as an electrician with the U.S. Navy, stationed in South Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Japan.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics from The Ohio State University and currently resides in Twinsburg, OH. During his (limited) free time, Chris enjoys pursuing his hobbies of hiking, roller coasters, and board games.

Tighe Smith

Tighe Smith
Vice President of Business Development, Paragon Energy Solutions

Tighe has spent the last 15+ years working in various roles in the commercial nuclear power industry. His experience includes product development, safety-related product and system sales and nuclear business management. He has a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering, is a graduate of the University of Tennessee's MBA program and served in the United States Army National Guard.