Multiple advanced reactor developers have announced domestic demonstration projects to be built in the 2020s. These nuclear reactors will provide the licensing, construction, and operational basis for rapid commercial expansion of advanced nuclear energy in the late 2020s and early 2030s. Technology, business, and regulatory lessons learned from first-of-a-kind (FOAK) projects will facilitate lower costs and shorter construction timelines for subsequent nth-of-a-kind (NOAK) reactors due to wide-scale deployment and technological learning. Utilities and other customers that gain early experience with FOAK or early NOAK projects will be in competitive positions to become technology leaders. Property of the Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA). For more information about advanced reactor deployments, please contact

This primer provides basic information on advanced reactors to help the public and stakeholders understand the promise of innovative nuclear technologies. Dozens are under development around the world; this primer focuses on those in the United States and Canada.

This document was originally released in September 2021. The document was last updated in March 2023.

This new publication follows NIA’s December 2021 report wherein NIA explored how the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) (and industry) can make advanced reactor licensing both more effective and more efficient while ensuring safety. In this new report, NIA provides recommendations on how the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS), an independent advisory committee to the NRC, can be more effective and efficient in reviewing nuclear energy technologies. To read the recommendation only, please follow the link here.