Fermi Energia continues planning for deployment of nuclear energy in Estonia

  • 2024-06-13
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Fermi Energia, a company planning to build a nuclear power plant employing small modular reactors (SMRs) in Estonia, will continue the planning work on nuclear energy and the preparation of an application for a designated national spatial plan.

On Wednesday, the Riigikogu decided to support the introduction of nuclear energy in Estonia. The decision of the Riigikogu is based on the work of the government's nuclear energy working group, which has been doing its work since November 2020, and the final report of this working group published at the end of last year, according to which the deployment of nuclear energy and the construction of a nuclear power plant with a small reactor are possible in Estonia.

Fermi Energia said in a press release on Thursday that the decision of the Riigikogu allows the government to proceed with the development of the legislative framework and the establishment of a national regulator. The decision also requires the Energy Development Plan 2035 to address the impacts of the deployment of nuclear energy.

For Fermi Energia, Wednesday's decision of the Riigikogu also means that various preparatory activities can be continued.

"As the next step, within four months Fermi Energia will submit an application for the initiation of a designated national spatial planning procedure, including for environmental impact assessments for two or three locations, during which the most suitable location for a plant with two BWRX-300 small reactors will be formally selected," said Kalev Kallemets, CEO of Fermi Energia.

He said the designated national spatial planning procedure is likely to last until 2028, by which time the construction of a reactor of the same type should be completed or underway in Darlington, Canada, and halfway through in Stawy Monowskie, Poland.

"On the basis of these projects and successful preliminary work, and a positive decision by the shareholders, we will be able to apply for a building  permit in Estonia in 2029 at the earliest, which, with the help of the reference plants' authorization processes and pre-construction experience, will allow us to start construction in 2030 or 2031 and have electricity production at the first reactor begin in 2035," Kallemets said.

Fermi Energia is a nuclear energy company founded in 2019 by Estonian nuclear energy experts and businesspeople, which plans to build a nuclear power plant with small reactors in Estonia to support the fulfillment of the country's climate goals and ensure security of supply. Fermi Energia is a member of the European Industrial Alliance on SMRs, a body established in February this year.