USNC explores possible deployment of its MMR in Finland

21 December 2022

Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (UNSC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT) in Finland to investigate deployment of its Micro-Modular Reactor (MMR) as a research and test reactor for the city of Lappeenranta, in the vicinity of the University campus.

USNC's MMR is a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) with a thermal capacity of 15MW and an electrical capacity of 5MW comprising two plants - nuclear plant that generates heat for an adjacent power plant that converts it into electricity or provides process heat for industrial applications. USNC says the system is designed to be simple, with minimal operation and maintenance requirements, and no on-site fuel storage, handling or processing. It will have a sealed transportable core and is designed to use TRISO fuel in prismatic graphite blocks, also produced by USNC. The company has been developing its MMR and proprietary Fully Ceramic Micro-Encapsulated (FCM) Fuel since 2011.

If constructed in Finland, the reactor will serve as a training, research and test facility and will connect to the district heating infrastructure of Lappeenrannan Energia, the municipally-owned energy company providing district heating to the university, city, and surrounding area. “The work LUT is doing to support the transition to a carbon-neutral world is important and the MMR is the perfect research and training facility to advance their knowledge and experience, especially when it comes to decarbonizing district heating systems,” said USNC CEO Francesco Venneri.

“The safety and design of the MMR makes partnering with Ultra Safe Nuclear the ideal choice for LUT and for Finland as we work toward decarbonized municipal and industrial heat supply and a carbon-neutral world,” said Juhani Hyvärinen, LUT Professor of Modelling in Nuclear Engineering.

In Canada, USNC is collaborating with Ontario Power Generation for construction of an MMR at the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's Chalk River Laboratories campus in Ontario, where the project is at an advanced licensing stage. MMR projects are also underway at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the USA and at McMaster University in Canada.

USNC also signed an MOU on 15 December with Canadian privately held investment firm Portland Holdings Investco, which is to invest up to $350 million in UNSC to promote MMR technology in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the Caribbean regions.

Image: Rector Juha-Matti Saksa of LUT and CEO Francesco Venneri of Ultra Safe Nuclear sign agreement to study MMR advanced reactor deployment at Finland's leading climate university to support their vital decarbonisation mission (courtesy of Business Wire)

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