Estonia plans to build Europe’s first small scale nuclear reactor

Legally binding reduction targets for member states should be the unequivocal starting point of making EU laws fit for new EU climate targets. [Shutterstock/vlastas]

To secure and increase its energy generation, Estonia is planning to have its first nuclear reactor, a small modular reactor ready within about ten years. It is set to be located some 100 kilometres east of Tallinn, on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, Estonian broadcaster ERR reported.

Another driver behind the project is to reach climate targets. Estonia’s emissions from the production of electricity are the highest in Europe and the government has decided to shut down power stations using shale oil by 2035.

Involved in the planning and possible tendering are US companies NuScale power and Ultra Safe Nuclear. Other names mentioned are GE Hitachi and Rolls Royce. On Tuesday, it was announced that Belgian engineering company Tractebel has decided to invest and become a shareholder in the Estonian Fermi Energia in charge of the project. Finnish state-owned energy giant Fortum has a consultative role.

Small modular reactors (SMR) are said to be safer than traditional reactors and can be situated near cities. According to a survey by Deep Isolation Company, Estonian soil would suit well for the disposal of nuclear waste. (Pekka Vänttinen |

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