Kärnfull Next, Sweden's first project development company focusing on small modular reactors (SMRs), has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with US-based GE Hitachi regarding the BWRX-300, a 300MWe water-cooled SMR with passive safety systems. The design and licensing is based on larger boiling water reactors, a technology familiar to Sweden.
Gothenburg-based Kärnfull has secured the initial financing from Corespring Invest, an investment portfolio that is managed at its discretion by the industrial and community development group Granitor. Corespring is a minority owner of the company. GE Hitachi was chosen as the technology supplier. The aim is to establish a number of SMRs as soon as possible for the production of electricity, heat and hydrogen based on requirements and needs. However, current legislation will need to be reviewed.
“It is in our corporate culture to break new ground and today's launch is a natural step, not least in view of the demand for electricity contracts with 100% nuclear power among Nordic households and companies,” said Kärnfull's co-founder John Ahlberg. “We have chosen our partners to create a reliable supply chain, and to be able to contribute time and cost-effectively to a fossil-free energy system.”
“During the winter, we have all realised the importance of having planable electricity production that delivers when and where it is needed. In addition to electricity, we are ready to deliver system services to the electricity grid, or for example fossil-free heat and hydrogen. The commercial conditions will determine how you choose to use the reactors. Flexibility combined with high availability is the key to cost efficiency. These reactors are designed to deliver around the clock all year round, regardless of the weather,” said Kärnfull co-founder Christian Sjölander.
Göran Linder, CEO of Granitor Growth Management and Corespring Invest, commented: “In a region with a rapidly growing demand for planable energy, a complement to weather-dependent electricity and an alternative to fossil base power is now offered. We have a long history of successful investments in cleantech and work extensively with various fossil-free sources. As final repository decisions and EU taxonomy have come into place, the investment world's interest in nuclear energy has increased significantly. We are therefore happy to be involved when Kärnfull Next becomes the first SMR project development on the Swedish market.”
“Swedish authorities and subcontractors are used to working with the systems and components used, which should reasonably be able to accelerate our projects. The world's first BWRX-300 will be put into operation in 2028, and then in Canada, which actually has less experience of the reactor type than Sweden. An equally ambitious schedule is thus possible here as well,” said Ahlberg.
An intensive period of staff recruitment and discussions with suppliers and investors lies ahead. Kärnfull Next has extensive expertise in financing projects with a long time horizon. The investment in the projects is based on a low-risk approach with the potential to attract a broad investor base that does not necessarily possess specific expertise in the technology.