GE Hitachi, Nuscale or Rolls-Royce may build Estonia's nuclear power plant

Rolls-Royce, UK SMR nuclear power station.
Rolls-Royce, UK SMR nuclear power station. Source: Fermi Energia

GE Hitachi, Nuscale, or Rolls-Royce could construct a small modular reactor nuclear power station in Estonia in the coming years. The plant's backers hope it will come online in 2032 but do not have planning permission yet.

Fermi Energia, which is developing the nuclear power plant, has sent tenders to companies for the construction of its new generation small modular reactor. 

All three companies are already planning to construct power plants in bigger countries and have initiated planning procedures with the relevant regulators.

Fermi Energia is now waiting for cost estimates which are due in December and plans to select the technology in February 2023.

The company has been discussing what technology should be used since 2019 and has mapped several options, manager Kalev Kallemets said in a statement.

GE-Hitachi, BWRX-300 nuclear power station. Source: Fermi Energia

Chief Technology Officer Marti Jeltsov said Nuscale and GE Hitachi are backed by the U.S. and Rolls-Royce by the UK.

"All three companies have reached design maturity in the last few years, which gives important security to the feasibility of projects. The arrival of a new generation of small reactors on the market gives Fermi Energia the opportunity to move forward with the technology selection at a faster pace than planned," he said.

GE Hitachi's BWRX-300 small reactor has been Fermi Energia's reference technology in almost 10 studies so far, and the construction site for the construction of this reactor is already underway near Toronto, Canada.

Nuscale and Rolls-Royce plan to start their first constructions in the next few years.

Fermi Energia wants to build a reactor to guarantee its customers' electricity production independent of the weather. It will have a long-term fixed price starting at €55 per megawatt hour. 

The company's plans have not yet been given the go-ahead.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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