Vattenfall invests €1m in Estonian nuclear energy start-up

The collaboration will further explore the maturity of small modular reactor technology and the prospects for deployment of one or several such reactors in Estonia until 2035

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Vattenfall has announced a seed investment of €1 million (£0.86m) in Estonian nuclear energy start-up Fermi Energia to become a minority shareholder in the company.

It follows a Letter of Intent signed in November 2020 to explore the possibilities for small modular reactor (SMR) deployment in Estonia, addressing costing and constructibility aspects, supply chain, operators and new build financing structure.

The extended collaboration will further explore the maturity of SMR technology and the prospects for deployment of one or several such reactors in the country until 2035.

Torbjörn Wahlborg, Senior Vice President Generation at Vattenfall said: “With this minority investment, Vattenfall can contribute our know-how and work jointly on feasibility studies about costing, supply chain and capabilities to construct and operate small modular reactor technology.

“Innovative and fossil free future nuclear generation such as SMR seems very promising for Estonia that has the highest average CO2 emissions per generated kWh of electricity among all EU member states.”

Vattenfall adds it sees potential in Fermi Energia’s business model and the company’s prospects to succeed with its 2026 objective to submit an application of Decision in Principle for the deployment of SMR technology in Estonia.

Kalev Kallemets, CEO of Fermi Energia said: “Fermi Energia considers true decarbonisation of Estonian economy impossible without reliable, affordable low carbon power supply from nuclear energy. For Estonia, only small modular reactors (SMR) as currently developed in the US, Canada and UK are suitable.

“Excellent safety record of multiple nuclear power plants by Vattenfall and its mission of ‘fossil free living within one generation’ proves that Vattenfall is the right partner for us to move forward with SMR deployment.”

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