Estonia to prepare legislation for nuclear programme

17 February 2023

The Estonian government has appointed Edinburgh, UK-based law company Castletown Law to advise it on law and legislation for the country's advanced civil nuclear energy programme. Last week, Fermi Energia selected GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy's BWRX-300 small modular reactor for potential deployment in the Baltic country by the early 2030s.

A rendering of a BWRX-300 plant (Image: GEH)

Castletown said the work will involve a comparative analysis of modern nuclear legislation and regulation in other jurisdictions which are in advanced stages of developing new regulatory structures for more efficient and effective delivery of advanced nuclear technology power systems.

The initial first stage report - which has now been submitted to the Estonian government - includes a review of existing laws, a comparative analysis to establish changes required across the relevant Estonian legislation and consultation with multiple stakeholders to establish the consensus view of the approach to provision of the new legislative structure.

Following the submission of Castletown's interim report - prepared together with local law firm Triniti and management consultancy Civitta - Castletown will begin working on the final report to the Estonian government and the draft legislative and regulatory structure to enable the safe and secure deployment, development and operation of advanced nuclear power technology in Estonia.

The detailed analysis by Castletown includes analysis and recommendations on international best practice utilising its experience in other jurisdictions and its knowledge of compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency required approach, to the development of a regulated structure for a nuclear power nuclear programme.

"Using our highly experienced lawyers, who have worked in the international nuclear sector for many years, we bring an understanding and belief in the future of low carbon energy production using advanced nuclear technologies," said Andrew Renton, Principal at Castletown. "Taking a pragmatic approach to the application of international standards as now applied in many jurisdictions, it is apparent that adoption of best practice, will put Estonia in a leading position to expedite development and deployment of these exciting technologies."

"This is a fantastic opportunity to help to shape the regulatory structure and laws that Estonia will need if and when it makes the decision to go ahead and develop its civilian nuclear energy programme," added Simon Stuttaford, Principal at Castletown Law.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News