Rolls-Royce Signs MoU with Fermi Energia to Bring SMRs to Estonia

A consortium led by the UK government and Rolls-Royce will help Fermi Energia, an Estonian firm manufacture small modular reactors in the country

Rolls-Royce and Fermi Energia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to study the potential of deploying compact nuclear power stations or small modular reactors (SMR) in Estonia. Under the agreement, both companies will study all aspects of the project such as grid suitability, cooling, emergency planning, human resources, licensing feasibility, economics and supply chain management.

View of the proposed site for the SMR in Estonia

View of the proposed site for the SMR in Estonia, Credit: Rolls-Royce website

Rolls-Royce is currently part of a UK government-led consortium that is focused on designing low-cost, factory-built nuclear power stations for global deployment. These are modular reactors which have standardised components built using advanced manufacturing processes, thereby making them open to adaptation in a wide variety of power station setups around the world. Typically, SMRs are assembled inside a weatherproof canopy on the site of the power station. Combined with their relatively small size, these reactors are much cheaper to set up and deploy since they don’t involve costly schedule disruptions.

Fermi Energia is an Estonian nuclear energy company founded by nuclear scientists, energy experts and entrepreneurs. The company aims to bring SMRs to Estonia so that the country can meet its climate goals, develop its economy and gain energy security. Kalev Kallemets, CEO and co-founder of Fermi Energia, said: “Fermi Energia is looking at Small Modular Reactor designs with credible technical, financial and political commitment to have First of a Kind deployment this decade. Rolls-Royce SMR certainly fits the bill with strong UK government commitment on carbon neutrality and nuclear energy with appropriate national financing on Rolls-Royce SMR development. Estonia and the United Kingdom have enjoyed a century of friendship and cooperation that we hope can be carried into the field of nuclear energy for the 21st century. Fermi Energia will consider Rolls-Royce SMR as one of the credible SMR designs in its national designated spatial planning procedure.”

Led by the UK government, the consortium is working towards developing a fleet of SMRs each with the capacity of producing at least 440MW of electricity. Rolls-Royce is confident that these SMRs will be ready for operations within a decade and be deployed by governments around the world keen to meet their climate goals.