Fermi Energia of Estonia on 21 March selected UK-based Moltex Energy as its preferred technology as it looks to establish carbon-free energy in the Baltic region.
The two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding expressing their intention to work together, including on a feasibility study for the siting of a Moltex advanced reactor, as well as the development of a suitable licensing regime.
Fermi Energia CEO Kalev Kallemets said the aim is for Estonia to deploy the first fourth-generation Small Modular Reactor in the EU by the early 2030s.
Simon Newton, Business Development Director at Moltex, said Estonia is the perfect place to benefit from the Moltex Stable Salt Reactor (SSR) technology. Fermi Energia was established to deploy generation IV technology in Estonia. Moltex Energy announced in July 2018 that it would build a demonstration SSR-W (Stable Salt Reactor - Wasteburner) at the Point Lepreau site in Canada under an agreement signed with the New Brunswick Energy Solutions Corporation and NB Power.
Moltex Energy's SSR is areactor design with no pumps (only small impellers in the secondary salt bath) which relies on convection from static vertical fuel tubes in the core to convey heat to the steam generators. The reactor's fuel assemblies are arranged in a tank half filled with the coolant salt which transfers heat away from the fuel assemblies to the peripheral steam generators. The core temperature is 500-600°C, at atmospheric pressure.
Estonia generates most of its power from oil shale, but this fossil fuel capacity will have been mostly retired by 2030. Wind power provides some potential, but an alternative, reliable power source is required if Estonia is to remain self-sufficient in energy. Neighbouring Latvia, Lithuania and Finland are all net importers of electricity.