Institute to start analysis of safety area for potential nuclear plant

Location of nuclear power plants in the Baltic Sea region. Source: ERR

Fermi Energia and the Estonian National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics entered into a cooperation agreement on Monday to analyze how large an emergency planning area would be needed by the nuclear power plant planned by the company.

A working group will be set up to assess the possibility of radiation spreading outside the reactor in the case of four reactor types and to calculate the required emergency planning area for each reactor type according to international standards, Fermi Energia said.

"Safety is an important prerequisite for nuclear energy and the aim of the emergency planning area study is to gain an in-depth and calculated understanding of how small reactors of the 21st century prevent radiation from spreading outside the territory of the plant," Fermi Energia CEO Kalev Kallemets said in a statement.

Chris Dahlgren BWRX-300 Chief Engineer, Jon W. Ball, Kalev Kallemets; Douglas MacDonald, Dale Fennell. Source: Fermi Energia

"It is not enough to rely only on the claims of developers, it is also necessary to check and verify the safety analyzes of international regulators," Kallemets added.

Urmas Nagel, director of the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, said that the study will be completed under the supervision of Estonian physicist Martti Raidal and will be published in January 2021.

"Considering the need to develop competence in the field of nuclear energy in Estonia, the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics has started research in the field of reactor physics and nuclear safety in the high energy physics laboratory. The agreement with Fermi Energia shows the interest of the Estonian business sector in reducing global warming and carbon emissions," Nagel said.

The National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics is Estonia's representative at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

Fermi Energia is a company exploring the possibility to set up a small modular nuclear plant in Estonia.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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