Fermi tells local residents about their plans to construct nuclear plant

Letipea land where a nuclear power facility could be constructed.
Letipea land where a nuclear power facility could be constructed. Source: Rene Kundla/ERR

Fermi Energia, the promoters of a nuclear power plant in Estonia, hopes to put up the first nuclear reactor in Virumaa region in less than a decade and is currently presenting their proposals to the local residents of the potential sites: Viru-Nigula Municipality in Lääne-Viru County and Lüganuse Municipality in Ida-Viru County.

Fermi Energy, the company that wants to build a nuclear power plant in Estonia, has identified two possible sites: the villages of Letipea in Viru-Nigula municipality in Lääne-Viru County and Aidu in Lüganuse municipality in Ida-Viru County, "AK" reported.

Fermi Energia presented its plans to residents ahead of the start of geological surveys in Letipea in December. A community meeting for residents of the Aidu quarry area is scheduled for December 5 at the Maidla community center.

People who came to the meeting at the Mahu community hall in the municipality of Viru-Nigula had mostly negative views of the nuclear power plant and were perplexed as to why their home was considered appropriate for the facility.

"Along with this nuclear plant will come facilities that will take production water or other water from our coasts, which is something we do not want. My greatest concern is that we will become an industrial zone," Mati Okas, the neighborhood resident, said.

Several residents also spoke at the meeting in support of the plant: "I would say it is more of an opportunity given the current economic climate. Considering the number of unemployed people we have, this is clearly an opportunity for them. If the local infrastructure, roads, etc. are likewise developed, it will only benefit the residents," Liina Lepik said.

During the meeting, Fermi Energia also introduced Kalev Sädemet, a Letipea resident and the company representative who, as a member of the Viru-Nigula council, committed to abstain from votes on the nuclear facility. Also in Aidu, there will be a local liaison officer with a comparable role.

According to the developers of the nuclear power plant, one of the purposes of the meeting with locals was to gain an overview of the questions that needed to be answered before to the next meeting in order to defuse tensions.

"We have to reduce tensions by explaining precisely what we are doing. Less idle talk, more actual initiatives," Fermi Energia's Chief Technology Officer Marti Jeltsov said.

"We want to be able to discuss where the future power line will come, where the district heating line will run, how big or small the station will be, where the fence will be, where the danger zone will be, whether the station will be lit at night, whether the cooling systems of the station will make noise, whether it will be possible to swim in the beach, these were all very specific questions, and we are now developing detailed plans to discuss them."

Fermi Energia has promised to announce which technology they will use in February of next year. In September, a request for proposals was sent to three modular reactor developers: GE Hitachi, NuScale and Rolls-Royce. The anticipated price of a single modular reactor is between €1 and €1.5 billion.

By 2024, the country plans to adopt a stance on nuclear energy. Fermi Energia hopes to have the first of its four modular reactors, capable of producing up to 300 megawatts of electricity per hour, operational by Christmas 2031, if given the green light.


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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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