Norwegian firm enlists Finnish help in deploying SMRs

23 June 2023

Norsk Kjernekraft has signed a letter of intent with TVO Nuclear Services (TVONS) - a consulting company wholly owned by Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) - to jointly investigate the deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) in Norway.

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The Norwegian company aims to identify suitable areas for SMRs in collaboration with power-intensive industry. It will prepare license applications in accordance with national regulations and international standards. It will follow the International Atomic Energy Agency's approach for milestones, and focus on what creates value in the early phase. Financing will take place in collaboration with capital-strong industry and solid financial players.

Through the letter of intent with TVONS, Norsk Kjernekraft said it will use the knowledge and experience of TVO in the "safe and secure operation of nuclear power plants". In addition, TVO is also the majority shareholder in Posiva, the company that has succeeded in building a final repository for used nuclear fuel. For Norsk Kjernekraft, which will plan for the entire life cycle of its activities, from cradle to grave, "this aspect is of particular importance", it added.

The cooperation will also include the assessment of the suitability and effectiveness of the development of nuclear power in the Norwegian municipalities of Aure, Heim, Narvik and Vardø. The municipalities are working together with Norsk Kjernekraft to investigate the technical, financial and safety aspects of building one or more SMRs in their area, taking into account local conditions and input from the residents of the municipalities.

"When we develop nuclear power in Norway, we will take lessons from the time when Norway developed its now extraordinary capabilities in the oil and gas sector," said Norsk Kjernekraft CEO Jonny Hesthammer. "Back then, we developed the petroleum industry in collaboration with countries and companies that had the necessary experience. The same recipe can be used to establish nuclear power in Norway."

"We in Finland have the latest nuclear power know-how from the Olkiluoto 3 project, which of course has taken longer than expected, but at the same time we have gathered a lot of valuable experience," said TVONS CEO Timo Palomäki. "We appreciate that Norsk Kjernekraft sees us as an important partner, and we want to start working together to build environmentally friendly and safe nuclear power in Norway. This will be a great example of Nordic cooperation on the development of future energy solutions."

TVO subsidiary TVONS uses TVO's experts and partners for consultation and development services. The mission of TVONS is to provide TVO's 50-year experience in the nuclear business to its customers. TVO said it has "40 years excellent operation experience of boiling water reactors, 25 years effective experience in construction and operation of a low and intermediate-level waste repository, and has unique experience of tendering, sourcing and constructing a first-of-a-kind modern nuclear power plant".

Norsk Kjernekraft noted: "Such an agreement for the safe and sustainable development of clean nuclear power has never been concluded between a Norwegian and Finnish organisation before, which makes this a historic agreement.

"TVONS will assist Norsk Kjernekraft in our work to deploy SMRs to supply Norwegian industry and households with clean, reliable and affordable energy in the decades and centuries to come."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News