Westinghouse, Fortum to study SMRs in Finland, Sweden

June 8, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

Representatives of Westinghouse and Fortum sign MOUs in Helsinki, Finland, on June 7. From left are Laurent Leveugle, vice president of new nuclear at Fortum; Petra Lundström, executive vice president of nuclear generation at Fortum; Elias Gedeon, senior vice president of commercial operations at Westinghouse; and Roman Romanowski, vice president of new plant market development at Westinghouse. (Photo: Westinghouse).

Looking to add Finland and Sweden to its growing list of potential reactor customers in Europe, Westinghouse Electric Company on June 7 announced the signing of memoranda of understanding with Finnish state-owned energy company Fortum—operator of the two-unit Loviisa nuclear plant—to explore the possibilities of developing and deploying AP1000 and AP300 reactor projects in the two Nordic nations. The MOUs, according to Westinghouse, establish a framework of collaboration for detailed technical and commercial discussions.

Westinghouse on May 4 unveiled the AP300 concept—a 300-MWe, 900-MWt single-loop pressurized water reactor based on its larger AP1000 unit. A week later, the company announced the filing of the new small modular reactor’s preapplication regulatory engagement plan with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Westinghouse is shooting for AP300 design certification by 2027, construction by 2030, and availability by 2033.

Currently, there are four operating reactors utilizing AP1000 technology in China, with six more under construction. In addition, two AP1000s have been built at the Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia (Units 3 and 4); Unit 3 is expected to enter commercial service this month, and Unit 4 is targeted to be up and running by the fourth quarter of 2023 or first quarter of 2024.

The official words: “Fortum is a leader in providing safe, clean, and reliable nuclear energy for the people of Finland and Sweden, as well as an important customer for our fuels and services businesses supporting Fortum’s existing operating plants,” said David Durham, president of energy systems at Westinghouse. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Fortum to bring our proven and industry-leading, advanced passive safety nuclear technology to the Nordic region, delivering added energy security for many generations to come.”

Said Petra Lundström, executive vice president of nuclear generation at Fortum, “Our strategic priorities are to deliver reliable clean energy and drive decarbonization in industries in the Nordics. We are excited to extend our cooperation and explore the potential and prerequisites for new nuclear in Finland and Sweden with Westinghouse Electric Company.”

In case you missed it: In October of last year, Fortum launched a two-year feasibility study to examine the potential for new nuclear construction in Finland and Sweden. The utility said it would look at the commercial, technological, and societal conditions for both conventional large reactors and SMRs.

And just last week, the firm inked an MOU with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, owner and operator of the South Korean nuclear reactor fleet. According to Fortum, the scope of the agreement covers cooperation and information exchange regarding future nuclear power plants and new reactor designs, as well as the operation of existing plants.

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