Letipea geologically suitable site for potential nuclear plant in Estonia

Artist's rendition of a small nuclear reactor.
Artist's rendition of a small nuclear reactor. Source: Fermi Energia

While the government has yet to make a decision on whether a nuclear power plant can be built in Estonia, two locations in northeastern Estonia have been identified as possible sites.

One of these, at Letipea, Lääne-Viru County, could see up to four nuclear reactors operating at a plant there, at least based on the results of a geological survey.

Speaking to ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) Friday, Mati Jeltsov, Fermi Energia CTO, said any suitable location "should support a nuclear power plant reactor building, while to do this, it is necessary to design the structural foundations in a way that will support the nuclear power plant and keep it in place for 60, 80 or 100 years."

"Of course, a location where this reactor should go has not been chosen yet, nor has any precise location within the vicinity of ​​Letipea been chosen either, though we now know the conditions that await us here and what the technical solution could be in the form of a sketch solution," Jeltsov went on.

AK reported that local residents and municipal representatives, attending a presentation by Fermi in the town of Kunda, seemed unfazed about the plans, even as the development, were it to go ahead at Letipea, would be on their doorstep.

Asse Sauga, a resident of nearby Malla mõis and also a self-styled crypto currency guru, told AK that: "I see this as positive news. I think it would have a very positive effect on the local community as well as on Kunda and the entire region, and on all development and growth. There has been plenty of emphasis on safety and security."

Peep Vassiljev, Rakvere municipal council chair, said: "Should the Estonian state decide that a nuclear power plant will be set up in Estonia, the site would definitely be Letipea, I am in no doubt about that."

Letipea area. Source: ERR

"Having studied civil engineering and soil mechanics myself, it is clear that the risks are significantly lower on clay than they are on limestone or gneiss," he went on.

Fermi Energia has shortlisted two potential areas for the possible location of a nuclear power plant in northeastern Estonia. 

While the Aidu quarry area, in Ida-Viru County, the other potential site, has been well researched, thanks in part to the presence of the oil shale industry there, the geological survey at Letipea has only just been concluded.

The state is set to rule at the end of this year on whether it is viable to even build a nuclear power plant at any location in Estonia.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera', reporter Jüri Nikolajev.

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