Electricity

Member states urge EU to create alliance for small modular reactors

Member states EU alliance small modular reactors

Photo: NuScale Power

Published

November 6, 2023

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Published:

November 6, 2023

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Twelve European Union member countries asked the European Commission to create an industrial alliance for small modular nuclear reactors. Their representatives are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the European Nuclear Energy Forum in Bratislava.

In a joint letter, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden called for investment incentives for small modular reactors (SMRs). In a joint letter, the informal group urged the European Commission to create an industry alliance for the segment, arguing the move would help build a value chain in the European Union, AFP reported.

The member states said it would strengthen energy sovereignty and the domestic industry’s competitiveness. Earlier, they formed a so-called Nuclear Alliance with Belgium and Estonia, while Italy and the United Kingdom are observers.

France leading both nuclear energy initiatives

France launched the new initiative as well, according to the office of the French Minister for Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher. It will “strengthen the European nuclear industry and security of supply and European competitiveness”, it added.

The Government of the Czech Republic approved a roadmap for selecting locations for SMRs and developing the projects

The signatories suggested small modular reactors as a solution for eliminating fossil fuels from electricity production in the 2030s and boosting the EU’s nuclear power capacity to 150 GW by 2050 from the current 100 GW.

Support from the European Commission is necessary for SMR projects to benefit from the existing and future European legislation, the 12 governments stressed. Their representatives are set to meet at the sidelines of the two-day European Nuclear Energy Forum in Bratislava, which begins today.

Project for small modular reactors launched in Norway

In other news, Norsk Kjernekraft sent a proposal to Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy to assess the possibility of the construction of a nuclear power plant consisting of small modular reactors. The firm, established last year, said the facility would be located in an industrial zone in the municipalities of Aure and Heim in the country’s west.

It estimated that the system would generate 12.5 TWh of electricity per year. Norway doesn’t have any nuclear power plants.

The Government of the Czech Republic approved a roadmap for selecting locations for SMRs and developing the projects. According to the concept, the investors would finance them on a purely market basis. In addition to the sites of nuclear power plants Dukovany and Temelín, the plan mostly leans on the locations of coal-fired power plants.

Earlier, the Romanian National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control (CNCAN) approved the licensing basis document (LBD) for the power plant of 462 MW consisting of six SMR modules, which NuScale Power intends to install in the country.

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