Norway’s Norsk Kjernekraft has signed a cooperation agreement with Lund municipality in the southern county of Rogaland for the establishment of a NPP in anticipation of increased power demand due to industrialisation of the area. Lund’s mayor Gro Helleland insisted that this energy must also be obtained through the least possible exploitation of natural resources.

“When it became clear that all these industrial plans in our region would require enormous amounts of energy, it was natural for us to obtain more information about the various alternatives that existed,” she said. “It gradually became clear that modern nuclear power, small modular reactors (SMRs) not only have the lowest lifetime emissions of greenhouse gases, but also will use far less natural resources than the alternatives.”

She continued: “Through Regionråd Dalane [a council of the four Dalane municipalities], we are working together with Rogaland county on a regional growth agreement, the goal which is anchored in the Regional Plan for green industry. I clearly see a connection between the main goal of increased value creation and jobs in green industry…and the establishment of nuclear power.”

Norsk Kjernekraft said the cooperation agreement with Lund is an important milestone in providing Norway with sufficient clean energy in the future. This will require construction of SMRs in different parts of the country and Lund is the first municipality in Rogaland to collaborate with Norsk Kjernekraft. The signing ceremony was also attended by local electricity company, Dalane Energi. The company is familiar with local conditions, needs and power grids and will make an important contribution to the initial work.

“It is important that the local population is involved in this work from the start so that any projects that are taken forward can achieve sufficient democratic anchoring,” said Norsk Kjernekraft CEO Jonny Hesthammer. “Norway has major challenges in reaching its climate targets while at the same time safeguarding natural diversity …. We are therefore convinced that a safe and extremely space-efficient energy source such as nuclear power provide a good solution.”

In June Norsk Kjernekraft submitted a proposal to Norway’s Ministry of Energy for an assessment into the construction of a power plant based on multiple SMRs in the north-eastern county of Finnmark. In June 2023, Finnmark’s Vardø municipality and Norsk Kjernekraft signed an agreement to prepare a report with proposals for a study programme after Vardø proposed nearby Svartnes as a possible site for a NPP.

Norsk Kjernekraft signed agreements with a number of municipalities in 2023 to explore the feasibility of nuclear power. In June 2023 a letter of intent was signed with TVO Nuclear Services (part of Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj) to jointly investigate the deployment of SMRs in Norway. This included the possible development of nuclear power in the municipalities of Aure (Møre og Romsdal county), Heim (Trøndelag county), Narvik (Nordland county) and Vardø.

In November 2023, Norsk Kjernekraf submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Oil & Energy to assess the construction of a SMR power plant in Aure and Heim. In April this year, the company launched an impact assessment of a plot of land in Øygarden municipality (Vestland county) to assess the possibility of establishing a nuclear plant based on five SMRs.

In addition, a new company, Halden Kjernekraft AS, has been set up by Norsk Kjernekraft, Østfold Energi and the municipality of Halden (Østfold county) to investigate the construction of a nuclear power plant based on SMRs at Halden, where a research reactor once operated.