Fortum and Kärnfull to explore SMR deployment in Sweden

15 December 2022

Finnish utility Fortum and Swedish small modular reactor (SMR) project development company Kärnfull Next AB have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly explore opportunities in new nuclear for developing SMRs in Sweden.

SMR concept (Image: Fortum)

The companies said the collaboration will allow them to jointly address Swedish SMR projects which could lead to concrete feasibility studies. They noted the schedule of the first operative SMR in Sweden is largely dependent on progress in permitting, licensing and legislation regarding the location and number of reactors in operation and any decisions about future investments will be made in due course.

"SMRs can provide both industry and municipalities with predictable and fossil-free electricity, heat and hydrogen," said Laurent Leveugle, Head of Fortum's New Build Feasibility Study. "Together with new wind power, new nuclear will be a crucial piece of the climate transition puzzle. Kärnfull Next already has a noteworthy project portfolio and we see that our different competences in the value chain complement each other in an excellent way."

"Fortum has a unique and broad nuclear expertise and it operates its reactors with world-leading availability," added Kärnfull Next CEO Christian Sjölander. "For Kärnfull Next, the cooperation with Fortum will mean that we can offer our customers an even better comprehensive solution at a competitive price."

In March, Gothenburg-based Kärnfull Next - a fully-owned subsidiary of Kärnfull Future AB - signed an MoU with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy on the deployment of the BWRX-300 in Sweden.

The agreement with Kärnfull Next is part of Fortum's two-year feasibility study, announced in October, to explore business opportunities in new nuclear both in Finland and Sweden. As part of the study, Fortum will examine commercial, technological and societal, including political, legal and regulatory, conditions for the construction of new reactors. The feasibility study will also consider the new build process, such as progress of planning, siting, and licensing.

In November, Fortum and Finnish power company Helen announced a joint study to explore possible collaboration in new nuclear power, especially SMRs.

Earlier this month, Fortum and France's EDF signed a framework cooperation agreement to jointly explore collaboration opportunities for SMR and large power plant deployment in Finland and Sweden.

In June this year, Vattenfall announced it was initiating a pilot study to assess the conditions for proceeding with a decision to build at least two SMRs adjacent to the existing Ringhals plant in Sweden. The study is expected to be completed by around late-2023 or early-2024.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News