Latvia and USA to cooperate on SMRs

8 April 2022

The United States and Latvia in a joint statement on 4 April announced a new partnership under the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) programme. 

FIRST is a capacity-building programme designed to deepen strategic ties, support clean energy innovation, and advance technical collaboration with partner nations on secure, safe, and responsible use of nuclear energy infrastructure.

The US-Latvia FIRST project will draw on expertise from across government, industry, national laboratories, and academia for policy and technical exchanges focused on topics such as workforce development, stakeholder engagement, regulatory development, and familiarisation with advanced nuclear energy technologies, such as small modular reactors (SMRs), to support Latvia’s energy independence and security and climate priorities.

“We are pleased to be working with Latvia to explore what role advanced nuclear technologies can play in Latvia’s future energy mix. The United States and Latvia share a commitment to energy security, combatting climate change, and non-proliferation. The FIRST programme provides a framework for our countries to work together to achieve these goals,” said Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins.

“The share of renewable energy in Latvian energy mix is constantly increasing and it is important to look at ways to ensure system stability and base loads to cover these volatile resources. We are grateful to the United States for readiness to collaborate with Latvia and share its experience and best practice in the field of nuclear energy. Latvia foresees an excellent cooperation with partners in the United States and it will foster our energy security,” said Latvian Minister of Economics Janis Vitenbergs.

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