Evening Lecture – The Development of SMRs: Challenges and Opportunities

The potential of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) as a competitive, low carbon technology in future integrated energy systems is gaining recognition by policymakers. SMRs bring simplification and standardisation that could improve the overall economics and deployment of nuclear energy. While some developers have made significant progress over the last few years towards the construction of prototypes and First-of-a-kind (FOAK) units, a number of challenges remain in order to demonstrate the commercial viability of SMRs.

Hourly Schedule

18:30 - 19:15
19:15 - 19:30
Questions & Answers
19:30 - 21:00


Jan 23, 2020


6:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Engie Tower
Boulevard Simon Bolivar 34-36, 1000 Brussels


  • Sama Bilbao y León
    Head of the Division of Nuclear Technology Development and Economics at OECD Nuclear Energy Agency

    Dr. Sama Bilbao y León is the Head of the Division of Nuclear Technology Development and Economics at OECD Nuclear Energy Agency. In her role at the NEA, she leads a team of talented analysts that provide Member Countries with authoritative studies in the intersection of technology, innovation and economics in support of their energy policy decision-making. Sama has a very diverse professional experience having worked in the nuclear industry (Nuclear Safety Analysis Engineer, Dominion Energy, USA), in academia (Director of Nuclear Engineering Programs and Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), USA) and in international organisations (Technical Head of Water Cooled Reactors Technology Development Unit, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)).

    Sama, who is originally from Spain, holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Energy Technologies from the Polytechnic University of Madrid; a master’s degree and a PhD in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison; and an MBA from Averett University. Sama’s areas of expertise are nuclear thermal-hydraulics for both light water reactors and sodium cooled reactors, nuclear reactor design, nuclear safety, energy and environmental policy, and complex decision making.

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