NNF22 Day 2

The Nordic Nuclear Forum 2022 day two started with a session from Framatome. Frédéric Lelievre from Framatome highlighted few interesting points ”We at Framatome treat quality in the same way as we do safety. Otherwise, we can open the doors to bigger issues.” Mr. Lelievre added an interesting question from the innovation point of view “How can we use tools of operational excellence from outside of nuclear like automobile and adapt it to nuclear industry?”

Here are the conference highlights of the Day 2:

  • Nuclear is cost competitive. We cannot deny that the finance has a massive role in nuclear. Because smaller nuclear projects have a smaller risk profile than a large-scale nuclear project, SMRs can offer more opportunities to wider investment and finance. Nathan Paterson, Senior Programme Lead, World Nuclear Association.
  • Financing probably is the most important thing associated with the new nuclear. We cannot characterize that all SMRs are all the same. If you don’t design for financing, you will face the same issues that larger plants have. SMR definition to Rolls Royce: maximizing the power against the limitation and constraints we put on design. You have to start with the design, you cannot just assume that all SMRs are easier to finance. Alan Woods, Strategy and Business Development Director, Rolls Royce SMR.  
  • If we want to reach the emission targets, we need hydrogen together with nuclear. What are the synergy possibilities in hydrogen and nuclear? Energy system challenge, the market is not the same anymore, the volatility in the market will come there. How can we balance the market when there is even more consumers and producers? it is going to be more complex system. The biggest challenge in the future will be energy distribution and storage. If we want to reach the emission targets, we need hydrogen. When you go forward in the industry the momentum and the support have to be there, from the political and market point of view. Herkko Plit, CEO, P2X Solutions Oy.
  • Why nuclear industry needs innovations now more than ever? Nuclear energy can be an essential part to reach carbon neutral society. But is nuclear energy cost competitive enough among other green energies? What are the innovations to improve the cost competitiveness of nuclear? To make nuclear cost competitive, it is not only engineers who need to change, but also the public sector and legislation must innovate and move forward. This all needs to be done because there’s a massive need for clean energy in Europe and globally. Jussi Manninen, EVP Carbon Neutral Solutions, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
  • How to make new nuclear affordable and profitable? In some cases SMRs can be more attractive than large reactors because of the benefits they bring. SMRs are seen to have better adaptability to cogeneration or even heat-only production. Key issues to tackle: harmonization of licensing processes and international requirements. We need a big cultural change in how SMRs are licensed. This also means co-operation with regulators during safety assessments to ensure that the same design can be adapted to other countries without redesigning the plant. Olli Kymäläinen, Senior Manager, Fortum.
  • Nuclear is a critical component of OPG’s climate action plan, with ongoing fleet operating for 30 more years and the commitment to SMRs. To reach Net Zero we need more green energy produced by hydro but also nuclear contributing a big part of the mix. Gary Rose, Vice President, Ontario Power Generation.
  • SMR opportunities lies with cost competitiveness, sustainability, reliability, and energy security. The uncertainties would be regulations, siting, social and political license to operate. Ville Sahlberg, Technology Manager, Helen.

In the afternoon audience had the opportunity to listen to a session by Rolls Royce SMR. Alan Woods from Rolls Royce talked about the future needs of energy and how SMRs could be the solution. “There are different scenarios about global energy consumptions whether energy consumption goes down or up. Either way, the electricity price goes up and we are not going to tackle it only with the renewable energy sources. We also need nuclear.” Woods pointed out. He also mentioned the heat application possibility with SMRs: “Nuclear must play a role in decarbonization in other sectors too, not only in grid electricity.”

Photo by Jussi Paakkinen