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What is Happening in Nordic Nuclear Industry?

Nuclear energy has a clear momentum in Nordic countries at the moment and the past few years have been really positive for the industry. Interest in nuclear power in the Nordic countries has grown in recent years due to climate change and the energy crisis. The Nordic countries are looking for sustainable environmental engineering solutions to preserve their considerable natural resources, for example by trying to replace fossil energy with more ecological alternatives. Nuclear power, as a carbon-free form of energy, can play a significant role in combating climate change. Nuclear power can also ensure electricity production in all conditions, regardless of the weather. So, in addition to the new nuclear feasibility studies by Fortum and Vattenfall, what else has been happening?

The nuclear momentum in the Nordic Countries
In Finland the momentum of nuclear power in the past few years has been clear and intense. In March 2023, Finland’s greatest climate act and the largest power plant in Europe, Olkiluoto 3 started its regular electricity production. Nuclear power is strongly and in positive sense featured in the current government program in Finland. During the current term of office, it is intended to reform the legislation and some of the practices of the nuclear energy sector. A major overall reform has been launched in the nuclear energy legislation to enable the long-term use of nuclear energy and new technologies. The goal of the full reform coming into force is at the beginning of 2028. Also according to a survey conducted by Energiateollisuus ry in the spring of 2023, up to 68% of Finns have a positive attitude towards nuclear power. SMRs (Small Modular Reactors) are one of the hot topics in the nuclear industry at the moment and these are interesting the Finnish nuclear market as well. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the Finnish SMR start-up Steady Energy at NNF24.

Sweden has made an almost complete turnaround in its nuclear power policy, and SMRs in particular are attracting interest. In August 2023, the Swedish government announced its intention to build at least ten new nuclear power plants in the country by 2045. Carl Berglöf was appointed in January 2024 to the new position of national nuclear power coordinator, whom we have the honor to hear from at the Nordic Nuclear Forum. Also in March 2024 Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB) announced that it has started constructions for its new geology building in Forsmark where the final repository for used nuclear fuel from Swedish nuclear power plants is also to be built in the future. Swedish nuclear supply chain network is being established with the lead of Studsvik, which also will be exhibiting at the NNF24.

SMRs are also attracting the Norwegian nuclear field. In the summer of 2023, Norway’s Norsk Kjernekraft signed a memorandum of understanding with Finland’s TVO Nuclear Service Oy (TVONS) to study the introduction of small modular reactors in the country. In November Norsk Kjernekraft submitted a proposal to Norway’s Ministry of Oil & Energy for an assessment of the construction of a power plant comprising multiple SMRs and after that signed an agreement of intent with Mo Industripark for the delivery of large quantities of emission-free energy. Moreover in the end of 2023, Halden Kjernekraft, established by Norway’s Halden municipality, Norsk Kjernekraft and Østfold Energi, started to investigate Halden as the possible location for an SMR-based nuclear power plant. Norwegian Nuclear Research Centre was established in 2023, and the Norwegian Nuclear Association was established in 2024. IFE has been playing a pivotal role in the latest movements, and we’re excited to have them at the Nordic Nuclear Forum!

In Denmark, the managers of a few large companies have sparked a discussion around nuclear power and different options for bringing nuclear power to the country. In addition, according to a survey of Danish citizens, for the first time ever, there are more supporters of nuclear power than its opponents. In the beginning of 2024 it was announced that the Technical University of Denmark is establishing a new research centre that will consolidate and strengthen research in nuclear power technologies. Purpose is to attract and support academic talent to strengthen research in nuclear energy technologies, expand capacities for teaching and supervision of students and strengthen collaboration with Danish and international companies. Speaking of Denmark, Copenhagen Atomics, a Danish molten salt technology company developing mass manufacturable molten salt reactors, will be in our exhibition this year. They will also give a presentation during the event on paradigm shift of the nuclear industry based on Thorium molten salt reactors.

Dive deeper in the Nordic Nuclear market momentum
As mentioned a lot has been happening and many plans for the Nordic nuclear future has been set. At the Nordic Nuclear Forum 2024 you will get to dive deeper in to the Nordic Nuclear market with the topical conference program and the Deep Dive Sessions, side events of NNF24, and by the exhibiting companies as well. Purchase you tickets now before they are sold out and join NNF to learn more about the industry insights from the government officials, policymakers and industry experts. Let’s drive the momentum of the nuclear industry further together and see you in Helsinki in May!

Psst… Not only nuclear market in the Nordics have a strong and positive momentum, once again Nordic countries are among the highest rankings in recently published The World Happiness Report. Congratulations to all Nordic countries for the high scores and especially to Finland for being ranked as the happiest country in the world for seventh year in a row! Other Nordic countries also earned reliably high scores since all countries ranked in the top 10; Denmark No. 2, Iceland No. 3, Sweden No. 4 and Norway No. 7. Let’s keep spreading the happiness!