Sweden could join the list of nations seriously contemplating the use of nuclear power to meet their carbon-neutrality goals and to decrease their reliance on fuel imports in light of the ongoing global power crisis.
Last December 15, 2022, Fortum, a Finnish utility provider, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Swedish small modular reactor (SMR) development firm Kärnfull Next AB to collaborate on a feasibility study to see if SMR initiatives could work in Sweden.
Laurent Leveugle, head of Fortum’s New Build Feasibility Study, the addition of SMRs to Sweden’s power grid would give the country stable access to fossil-free electricity, heat, as well as hydrogen. When used together with other renewable power technologies like wind farms, new-generation nuclear generation could play a vital role in the country’s transition to a carbon-free or carbon-neutral economy.
Leveugle added that Kärnfull Next AB has an impressive project portfolio and its different areas of expertise are well aligned with his company’s, complementing each other throughout the process.
For his part, Kärnfull Next CEO Christian Sjölander lauded Fortum’s extensive expertise in the field of nuclear power, citing how the company operates safe, sustainable, world-class reactors. Sjölander added that this joint initiative would enable his company to eventually offer its customers more comprehensive power solutions at reasonable prices.
What’s Involved in this Agreement?
This memorandum between the two Scandinavian companies is part of a two-year feasibility study launched by Fortum in October of last year. It is meant to explore mutually beneficial opportunities in Finland as well as Sweden in the fields of commerce and technology. In this case, the study will consider various factors, including socio-economic, political, and regulatory measures regarding the construction of new-generation nuclear reactors in both countries.
The study will also consider the feasibility of the new build process for SMRs which will include planning, siting, and licensing.
Sweden’s Kärnfull Next is just the latest in a growing line of partnerships that Fortum has initiated with the end goal of bringing SMR technology across the globe.
As 2022 drew to a close, Fortum inked a framework cooperation agreement with French utility provider EDF to explore the possibilities of SMR and large plant deployment in both Finland and Sweden.
But Kärnfull has also undertaken its own initiatives with other global partners. Back in March, the Gothenburg-based company inked an MoU with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy regarding the deployment of the BWRX-300 reactor in Sweden.