Fortum and Helen to explore potential cooperation in small modular reactors

Source: press release, 25 November 2022

photo: Fortum
photo: Fortum

Fortum and Helen are initiating a joint study to explore the prerequisites for collaboration in nuclear power and small modular reactors (SMR), in particular. The study is linked to the Fortum project announced in October to explore the prerequisites for nuclear power in Finland and Sweden, including the mapping of potential partner networks and cooperation arrangements.

“Because of the uncertainty in the energy markets, projects carried out in the nuclear sector in the future are most likely to happen through various cooperation arrangements. The study being initiated with Helen regarding the prerequisites for cooperation is a great starting point not only for project mapping, but also for the partner mapping that we are doing with various parties as part of a broader look at nuclear power over the next couple of years,” says Jukka Hautojärvi, Fortum’s representative in Fortum and Helen’s joint study group.

Fortum and Helen are forming a study group to explore possible synergy benefits.

“We will start the mapping from a clean slate. Our extensive exploratory work on the prerequisites of new nuclear power is just beginning, and we are not ruling out any form of cooperation at this point,” Hautojärvi says.

Cooperation between energy sector players will be emphasised in nuclear power in the future.

“Helen has been interested in SMRs for some time already and has also expressed this publicly. We regard SMRs as one noteworthy production form of zero-emission energy for heating in Helsinki and also for electricity generation in the future. Helen has world-class expertise in the development of the largest district heating system in Finland, and Fortum has competence in the nuclear power technology. By combining these strengths, we could create a productive cooperation that would increase Finland’s energy self-sufficiency,” comments Harri Mattila, Senior Vice President, Energy Procurement and Wholesale.

Nuclear power’s role as part of a sustainable energy mix for the future is also still seen as important.

“Leveraging nuclear power’s potential in climate change mitigation and in solving the energy crisis requires significant investments and strong cooperation from different players. However, it seems that there is a strong will in Finland around the issue, and that creates a favourable environment for the development of nuclear power. The study will eventually show where this will lead,” Jukka Hautojärvi says.