Another Norwegian town looks to host nuclear plant

02 July 2024

Norsk Kjernekraft has signed a cooperation agreement with the municipality of Lund on establishing a nuclear power plant in the town in the southern Norwegian county of Rogaland. The town is expecting a large increase in power demand due to industrialisation of the area.

Mayor of Lund municipality Gro Helleland (left) and chief engineer at Norsk Kjernekraft Steffen Oliver Sæle after the signing (Image: Norsk Kjernekraft)

The collaboration agreement enables the first steps towards the realisation of nuclear power in the municipality, among other things, suitable areas must be identified and then an impact assessment must begin.

A number of plans for sustainable industrialisation in the region have come closer to being realised, Norsk Kjernekraft said: "These activities will require large amounts of stable and emission-free power, and it is in this connection that Lund's mayor Gro Helleland has advocated that this energy must also be obtained through the least possible use of nature."

Helleland said: "When it became clear that all these industrial plans in our region would require enormous amounts of energy, it became natural for us to obtain more information about the various alternatives that existed. Gradually it became clear that modern nuclear power, so-called small modular reactors (SMRs), not only has the lowest lifetime emissions of greenhouse gases, but will also use far less nature than the alternatives."

"Through Regionråd Dalane [a political council for the four Dalane municipalities], we are working together with Rogaland county on a regional growth agreement, where the goal of the agreement is anchored in the Regional Plan for green industry," she continued. "I clearly see the connection between the main goal there of increased value creation and jobs in green industry that contribute to a nature-neutral, low-emission society, and the establishment of nuclear power."

Norsk Kjernekraft CEO Jonny Hesthammer commented: "It is important that the local population is involved in this work from the start so that any projects that are taken forward can achieve sufficient democratic anchoring.

"Norway has major challenges in reaching its climate targets and at the same time safeguarding natural diversity when new emission-free power is to be established. We are therefore convinced that a safe and extremely area-efficient energy source such as nuclear power will be able to contribute to a good solution."

Norsk Kjernekraft said it will be necessary to construct several small nuclear power plants in different parts of the country. "That Lund, as the first municipality in Rogaland, takes the initiative for such a collaboration with Norsk Kjernekraft is therefore very important," it said.

Last month, Norsk Kjernekraft submitted a proposal to Norway's Ministry of Energy for an assessment into the construction of a power plant based on multiple SMRs in the north-eastern county of Finnmark. In April last year, the municipality of Vardø in Finnmark proposed nearby Svartnes as a possible site for a nuclear power plant to Norsk Kjernekraft, which aims to build, own and operate SMR power plants in Norway in collaboration with power-intensive industry.

In November, Norsk Kjernekraft submitted a proposal to the ministry for an assessment into the construction of an SMR power plant based in the municipalities of Aure and Heim in south-western Norway. In April this year, it initiated work on the impact assessment of a plot of land in Øygarden municipality, west of Bergen, to assess the possibility of establishing a nuclear power plant comprising up to five SMRs.

A new company, Halden Kjernekraft AS, has also been founded by Norsk Kjernekraft, Østfold Energi and the municipality of Halden to investigate the construction of a nuclear power plant based on SMRs at Halden, where a research reactor once operated.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News