The Norwegian municipality of Heim in Trøndelag county, Norway, has begun regulatory work to establish a zone for the construction of a NPP and cancellation of previous plans for the zone. "The regulatory plan will lay the foundation for the establishment of nuclear power plants, preferably in the form of small modular reactors (SMRs)," the Heim municipality said.

In November 2023, Norsk Kjernekraft submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Oil & Energy (OED) for an assessment relating to the construction of a power plant based on multiple SMRs in the municipalities of Aure and Heim. "Planned measures are covered by regulations on impact assessments and must have a planning programme and an impact assessment," the municipality noted. "The need for investigation for such a regulatory plan is currently uncertain but will probably be clarified when the investigation programme that Norsk Kjernekraft sent to OED is confirmed. Proposals for the planning programme will be submitted for consultation and put out for public inspection when the need for a study for nuclear power plants is clear."

The plant, according to the preliminary plans, will be sited in a common industrial area in the border area between Aure and Heim. Other areas in the municipalities may also be relevant. The plant is planned to comprise several SMRs, which could produce around 12.5 TWh of electricity a year, increasing Norway's power production by about 8%.

"In accordance with Sections 12-8 and 12-14 of the Planning and Building Act, the commencement of work is notified at the same time as the cancellation of the current zoning plans in the area," Heim municipality said. "Taftøy industrial park is the name of an older development plan located on Taftøyan, northwest of Heim municipality. To the west, the planning area borders Aure municipality in Møre and Romsdal county. To the north, the planning area borders the former 680 [road]. About 300 metres east of the planning area is the zoning plan for the Taftøyan cottage area." It added: "The older regulatory plans have not been realised and will be repealed when the area plan for the Taftøy nuclear power is adopted."

The municipality notified the Directorate for Radiation Protection & Nuclear Safety (DSA – Direktoratet for strålevern og atomsikkerhet), the Norwegian Armed Forces, the Norwegian Water & Energy Directorate (NVE- Norges vassdrags- og energidirektorat), grid operator Statnett and the Environment Agency. The deadline for any responses to the notification is 15 May.

Norsk Kjernekraft CEO Jonny Hesthammer said Heim and Aure are “stepping up to the plate” to get nuclear power in place as part of the solution together with renewables. "Together with the two municipalities, Norsk Kjernekraft has submitted a report on the study programme to the Ministry of Energy. Now the municipalities are showing with action that they mean business, and the government and the ministries must take this into account. What we need now is action, not more delay.”

Image: The proposed location for the NPP (courtesy of Norsk Kjernekraft)