Small Modular Reactors

Norway / Nuclear Company Submits Proposal For SMR Station In North Of Country

By David Dalton
17 June 2024

Bergen-based Norsk Kjernekraft hails ‘first step’ in plans for reactors

Nuclear Company Submits Proposal For SMR Station In North Of Country

Nuclear power developer Norsk Kjernekraft has submitted a proposal to Norway’s energy ministry for an assessment into the construction of a power plant based on multiple small modular reactors (SMRs) in the county of Finnmark.

The Bergen-based company, part of the M Vestt energy gas and oil group, said the proposal marks the first step in the formal process to establish a nuclear power plant there.

Chief executive officer Jonny Hesthammer said a nuclear power will give Finnmark, in the northernmost part of Norway, access to large amounts of stable power, create hundreds of jobs and provide light in the houses in a strategically important part of the country.

“In addition, it will help assert Norwegian sovereignty and ensure Norwegian presence,” he said. “This report will be an important part of the knowledge base for the government's announced investigation into nuclear power in Norway.”

In November, Norsk Kjernekraft submitted a proposal to the energy ministry for an assessment into the construction of an SMR plant in the municipalities of Aure and Heim in southwestern Norway.

According to a preliminary plan, the plant will be built in a common industrial area in the border area between Aure and Heim. Earlier in 2023, Norsk Kjernekraft signed agreements with three municipalities – Aure, Heim and Narvik – to investigate the construction of SMRs.

In March 2023, Norsk Kjernekraft signed an agreement with UK-based with Rolls-Royce SMR to work together to increase acceptance of nuclear power in Norway, and to potentially establish future projects that “could lead to the deployment of Rolls-Royce’s small, modular nuclear power plants in Norway”.

Norsk Kjernekraft said it had seen “a rapid and positive turn” in favour of considering nuclear power in Norway. The company said it was “already in dialogue” with politicians from a number of parties and perceives them to be interested in learning more. “That includes the governing parties,” the company said.

Norway has never had commercial nuclear power plants, but has operated two research reactors for the production of medical radioisotopes and research purposes.

The two research reactors are the nuclear fuel and materials testing reactor at Halden and the Jeep II neutron scattering facility at Kjeller. They were permanently shut down in June 2018 and April 2019 respectively.

The country has a disposal facility for low and medium level radioactive waste from radioactive sources used in industry and medicine as well as that generated by the research reactors. Norway also plans new medical irradiation facilities at hospitals in Oslo and Bergen.

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