Fermi Energia lists two favorable sites for potential nuclear power plant

Small Nuclear Reactor (SMR) developer Fermi Energia has two preferred locations for a proposed nuclear power station, both of them in northeastern Estonia and both with their own pros and cons, from a list of over a dozen drawn up by a state working party. The company says it does not favor one of these sites over the other.

The national nuclear energy working group selected 15 locations across Estonia that might be suitable locations for a nuclear power station, two of which coincide with Fermi Energia's own choices. 

Media reports have stated that Fermi prefers a former oil shale quarry at Aidu, Ida-Viru County (see gallery above), over another site in neighboring Lääne-Viru County, but the company itself says this is not the case.

Fermi Energia board member Diana Revjako said: "We look at both of these equally. Both regions have their pros and cons, and in order to make a decision, a lot more research needs to be done, while the ultimate location will rather be a matter for the state."

The Viru-Nigula area, in Lääne-Viru County, has the advantage of being close to the sea, meaning a good source of water needed in the cooling process, while conversely one main plus point of Ida-Viru County was that its residents are apparently already used to living in an industrial zone, Revjako went on.

"The attitude of the local community and their cooperation with the issue is really important for us, since without that, it would be very difficult to realize this project and to continue working afterwards."

"There have been many questions, but these have been good questions, while there are also various communities [in Luganuse]. There are different communities in Viru-Nigula, too, and the discussions have been proceeding at a very different pace," Revjako went on.

While only at a preliminary study phase, there are several possible locations available to host a nuclear power plant in Estonia; alternatively there might be room for more than one nuclear power plant, though Fermi Energia's analysis states that constructing plants at several different sites would not make economic sense.

"Since different nuclear reactors have very extensive common aspects, such as cooling systems, administrative buildings, waste storage, etc., it makes sense to have it all in the one place. The other way (ie. Several locations-ed.) is technically possible, but would be unreasonably costly," Revjako added.

The actual decision on whether building a nuclear power plant in Estonia is conceivable at all, is to be decided by the state next year, it is reported.

Estonia has no nuclear power facility, though during the Soviet era, two nuclear reactors were in operation at the Port of Paldiski, part of a highly secretive nuclear submarine facility.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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