Small Modular Reactors

Finland / Fortum Signs MOU To Explore SMRs For Steel Decarbonisation

By David Dalton
24 March 2023

Possible reactor location is large mill in north of country
Fortum Signs MOU To Explore SMRs For Steel Decarbonisation
Fortum said one possible location for a reactor is Outokumpu’s largest steel mill near Tornio. Courtesy Outokumpu.
Finland-based energy company Fortum and stainless steel manufacturer Outokumpu have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the decarbonisation of Outokumpu’s operations with emerging nuclear technologies such as small modular reactors.

The agreement begins what Fortum said would be “a long-term process” with the aim to assess potential construction of SMRs in Finland.

One possible option for the location would be Tornio region in northern Finland, where Outokumpu’s largest mill is situated.

In the first phase, the goal is to identify potential business models and technical solutions for further development. Any potential investment decisions will be made at a later stage, Fortum said.

“Decarbonising heavy industries is a prerequisite for reaching carbon-neutrality in Europe and this requires significant amounts of clean energy,” Fortum president and chief executive officer Markus Rauramo said.

“So, we are pleased to start collaboration with a steel industry forerunner like Outokumpu to explore the future potential of new nuclear power in the Nordics.”

The MOU is part of Fortum’s nuclear feasibility study. The two-year programme, will see Fortum explore the possibilities for SMRs and conventional large nuclear reactors in Finland and Sweden.

In addition to Outokumpu, Fortum has signed nuclear-related cooperation agreements with UK-based Rolls-Royce SMR, French state power company EDF, Swedish SMR developer Karnfull Next and Finland-based energy company Helen.

Fortum owns and operates the two-unit Loviisa nuclear power station in Finland. It also has a share in nuclear plants at Olkiluoto, Oskarshamn and Forsmark in Sweden.

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