Emission-free energy production has a crucial role in the fight against climate change. Alongside renewable but weather-dependent energy production, we also need nuclear power, which could be increasingly produced by small modular reactors in the future.
There are currently multiple small modular reactor development projects around the world. Many of the concepts are still on the drawing board, but the first plants are close to deployment or have already been deployed. Why SMRs are a potential and cost-effective tool in climate change mitigation? What kind of safety requirements are mandatory? And when will SMRs be deployed in Finland?
Small modular reactors are an effective tool for climate change mitigation
The advantages of SMRs are that they are adjustable, solutions are standardised, pre-fabricated modules provide economies of scale, deployment is fast, there is potential for more diverse use, and they are cost-efficient. In addition to this, the safety properties of small reactors can be further improved with, for example, passive safety systems that operate without electricity. As the production of variable wind and solar energy increases, smaller output and adjustable reactors could be a significant balancing factor in the electricity system. SMRs offer new possibilities to be used in district heating or hydrogen production.
When will SMRs be deployed in Finland?
In Finland, SMRs could form a part of power and district heat production in 10 to 15 years. However, this would require further development of internationally harmonized requirements and national legislation to enable cost-effective serial production of SMRs.
At Fortum, small modular reactors have been part of the nuclear power R&D programme for several years now. We see small modular reactors as part of a nuclear power future, and we are involved in various national and international projects to help accelerate the development of and the opportunities to utilise small modular reactors.
To learn more about how to make small modular reactor deployments a reality, we warmly welcome you to Nordic Nuclear Forum 2022 to discuss more!
Register to SMR webinar
What is the future of small modular reactors? Sign up for the pre-event webinar of Nordic Nuclear Forum “How do we see the future of small modular reactors (SMRs) at Fortum?” to hear more about the latest development insights of the SMRs on 25 of May! Register for the webinar by filling in this form.
Text written by: Matti Kattainen, Head of Nuclear Future Agenda at Fortum and Antti Rantakaulio
Manager, SMR Business Development at Fortum