This paper examines the potential of embedded intelligence (EI) and the resultant implications of secure EI (SEI) and integrated state awareness (ISA) as disruptors in the advanced nuclear energy systems market. To this end, it reviews the state-of-the-art of EI in nuclear and other industries; discusses design trends, benefits, challenges, and opportunities; and addresses the rigorous development of SEI-driven approaches for achieving ISA and other smart functionalities (e.g., remote, flexible, and/or autonomous operations). It also defines concepts in such a way as to enable rigorous further development and identifies potential actions to capture opportunity, including the identification of areas for appropriate research, development, and demonstration.