TVO to help Norway with nuclear ambitions

July 6, 2023, 7:02AMNuclear News
A map of Norway (green) and Finland (blue). (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Consulting company TVO Nuclear Services (TVONS), a subsidiary of Teollisuuden Voima Oyj, owner and operator of Finland’s three-unit Olkiluoto nuclear plant, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Norsk Kjernekraft, aka Norwegian Nuclear, a firm established last July with the goal of bringing small modular reactors to power reactor–deprived Norway.

A June 27 announcement from TVO said the new MOU provides the Norwegian firm with “access to the know-how and experience of one of the world’s best-known nuclear power companies” and stressed TVO’s 60 percent ownership of Posiva, the company responsible for the disposal of Finland’s spent nuclear fuel. “Posiva has successfully built the world’s first final disposal facility for high-level nuclear waste,” TVO stated. “This is decisively important for Norwegian Nuclear’s plans for the management of the entire life cycle of nuclear power.”

Posiva began excavating the first disposal tunnels at its deep geologic repository, dubbed Onkalo, in May 2021. Disposal operations at the facility, located near the Olkiluoto plant, are expected to begin in about two years.

Meanwhile, in its own announcement, Norsk Kjernekraft termed the agreement “historic,” adding, “Both parties look forward to their continued cooperation, especially the assessment of the suitability and effectiveness of the development of nuclear power in the Norwegian municipalities of Aure, Heim, Narvik, and Vardø, where the municipalities have specifically asked Norsk Kjernekraft to assess SMRs to meet their future energy needs.”

Signers’ language: “We appreciate that Norsk Kjernekraft sees us as an important partner, and we want to start working together to build environmentally friendly and safe nuclear power in Norway,” said Timo Palomäki, TVONS chief executive officer. “This will be a great example of Nordic cooperation on the development of future energy solutions.”

Norsk Kjernekraft chairman Jonny Hesthammer stated, “When we develop nuclear power in Norway, we will take lessons from the time when Norway developed its now extraordinary capabilities in the oil and gas sector. Back then, we developed the petroleum industry in collaboration with countries and companies that had the necessary experience. The same recipe can be used to establish nuclear power in Norway. Nuclear power has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions and the smallest impact on the natural environment.”

In case you missed it: Norsk Kjernekraft announced in March the signing of an MOU with Rolls-Royce SMR. In that agreement, the parties pledged to work together to increase acceptance of nuclear power in Norway and to potentially establish projects that could lead to the deployment there of Rolls-Royce’s SMR units.

“This is an important step toward the goal of establishing nuclear power as a central part of the energy mix in Norway,” Hesthammer said on March 8. “New reports from the EU and the UN show that modern nuclear power plants are a good choice in terms of climate, nature, the environment, and human health. . . . These reactors will be able to deliver large amounts of energy in a very small area at an affordable price, and without government subsidies. In Norway, such small nuclear power plants will be able to work very well together with renewables and contribute to stabilizing the energy supply as the proportion of weather-dependent power increases in the energy mix.”

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