Finland, Sweden and Ukraine consider Rolls-Royce SMRs

21 March 2023

Britain's Rolls-Royce SMR has signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) to explore the deployment of its small modular reactor (SMR) in Finland and Sweden, as well as to help post-war recovery in Ukraine.

Energoatom President Petro Kotin and Rolls-Royce SMR's Sophie Macfarlane-Smith signing the MoU (Image: Energoatom)

Under an MoU signed with Ukraine's state-owned nuclear energy utility Energoatom, the companies will work together to explore future opportunities to deploy Rolls-Royce SMR reactors in Ukraine as it begins to rebuild. Rolls-Royce SMR commits to supporting Ukraine's recovery by deploying an SMR plant "capable of generating enough carbon-free electricity to power one million homes for over 60 years".

The MoU was signed on 20 March by Energoatom President Petro Kotin and Sophie Macfarlane-Smith, head of customer engagement at Rolls-Royce SMR.

"Cooperation between Energoatom and Rolls-Royce SMR has reached a new level," Kotin said. "Today we signed an agreement that will allow Ukraine not only to start a high-quality post-war reconstruction of the energy infrastructure, but also to become one of the first countries in the world to attract promising technologies of small modular reactors for this purpose."

Rolls-Royce SMR CEO Tom Samson added: "Thanks to our own British nuclear technologies, we can potentially help the people of Ukraine to quickly rebuild and restore energy security and independence."

In May last year, Kotin said that construction work on two new Westinghouse AP1000 units at the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant "will begin as soon as the war is over". He said an agreement signed with Westinghouse covered the construction of five units in total, with the other three units to be distributed at the country's other existing nuclear power plants.

Nordic deployment to be investigated

Rolls-Royce SMR has also signed an MoU with Finnish utility Fortum to jointly explore the opportunities for the deployment of SMRs in Finland and Sweden.

From left to right: Fortum Technical Director Olli Kymäläinen, Rolls -Royce SMR Head of Business Development, Nordics Tuomo Huttunen, Fortum Head of New Build Feasibility Study Laurent Leveugle, and Rolls-Royce SMR Head of Customer Engagement Sophie Macfarlane-Smith (Image: Rolls-Royce SMR)

Fortum, an energy giant which includes the Loviisa nuclear power plant in Finland in its operations, announced in October last year a project to explore the prerequisites for new nuclear power in Finland and Sweden, including potential partner networks and cooperation arrangements. It said it sees SMRs as part of nuclear power's future and is "interested in the possibilities of nuclear in heat and hydrogen production".

"Fortum is happy to start a collaboration with Rolls-Royce SMR which is one of the forerunners in the small modular reactor industry," said Laurent Leveugle, Fortum's Head of New Build Feasibility Study. "We are especially interested in learning more about Rolls-Royce SMR's delivery model considering Rolls-Royce's historical industrial experience."

"Rolls-Royce SMR is honoured to be collaborating with Fortum, as one of the most respected nuclear operators in the Nordics, and we see great benefit in the co-operation between our two organisations," said Alan Woods, Director of Strategy and Business Development for Rolls-Royce SMR. "The importance of energy security has increased dramatically and we see our unique approach to nuclear new build - focusing on delivery capability and cost effectiveness - as the best solution to providing low-carbon energy for generations to come. We look forward to working with Fortum during their feasibility study."

The two companies noted that "any potential investment decision will be made at a later stage".

In addition to Rolls-Royce SMR, Fortum has signed cooperation agreements with EDF of France, Kärnfull Next of Sweden and Helen of Finland.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News