Microreactors present promising opportunities to open new nuclear energy markets. However, it is expected that the economic competitiveness of this new class of reactors will hinge on potential cost reductions via mass production. It is therefore critical to begin assessing important considerations for the factory production of microreactors. An overview of the important aspects of the general layout of a microreactor factory, along with best practices to be incorporated early in the design process, is provided in this study. Then, a detailed use case is considered and modeled using a dedicated tool that can map workflows and activities within a factory. The end product is a 242 000 sq. ft. factory model that can ramp up production from 10 to 100 units per year.

Based on the activities and workflows needed, cost estimates for equipment and staffing needs are generated. These are expected to be first-order estimates, but would still provide guidance on the level of investment needed to reach mass production levels of microreactors. Furthermore, the potential cost reductions from scaling production are quantified. It was found that for a 100-unit factory throughput, reductions above 70% per unit cost relative to a prototype demonstration, could be observed for tasks conducted within a factory. These estimates focus solely on component fabricated at a factory and do not account for fuel costs nor any site activities. Because the analysis is design specific, not all findings are expected to be applicable across different microreactors (notably larger varieties), but it still provides a foundation establishing the basis for the mass production of these reactors.