Estonia could get nuclear power plant by 2035

Fermi Energia has suggested GE-Hitachi could build a BWRX-300 nuclear power station.
Fermi Energia has suggested GE-Hitachi could build a BWRX-300 nuclear power station. Source: Fermi Energia

Estonia may get a nuclear power plant by 2035 according to a new report by a government working group. But politicians still need to sign off on the plans and a final draft will not be ready until 2023.

The nuclear power plant working group is basing its findings on the idea that Estonia will give up shale oil production by 2030, Monday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.

As solar and wind will not fill the gap on their own, discussions about a small modular reactor plant has been discussed for several years. 

The in-progress report analyzes 19 different issues around the introduction of nuclear energy that are based on the United Nation's Atomic Energy Agency, said Reelika Runnel, adviser to the chancellor of the Ministry of the Environment and group coordinator.

"It describes the conditions under which and whether it would make sense to build a nuclear power plant in Estonia. Whether or not to build this nuclear power plant will still be decided by the government and then by the parliament," she said.

The report, which includes a construction time frame, will be completed next year and a final decision made in 2024. It is estimated the plant will be completed by 2035.

Chairman of the Riigikogu's Economic Committee Kristen Michal (Reform) said it may be possible to speed up the process by two years, bringing the completion time to between 2032-2033.

He said on no specific reactor has been chosen yet.

The plant is expected to be built by private investors and company Fermi Energia has been at the forefront of Estonia's nuclear power plant discussions.

The project is expected to cost €2 billion euros and small modular reactors with a capacity of 300 megawatts are being considered.

"What it [the cost] will actually be, we will find out from these calls for tenders, and we will also have to take into account that by 2028, when we might start construction, what raw material prices, interest rates and labor prices will be by then," said Fermi Energia manager Kalev Kallemets.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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