GE Hitachi’s BWRX-300 technology to be implemented at future NPP in Estonia

Fermi Energia from Estonia, a company that plans to build a nuclear power plant in the country in the early 2030s, has chosen GE Hitachi’s BWRX-300 technology for the future NPP. The company reported this on its website in early February.  

The tender was announced in September 2022, and to participate in it, providing the engineering documentations needed to estimate the cost of construction by December 2022 was required. In addition to GE Hitachi, the British company Rolls-Royce and the American NuScale also reached the final round of selection. According to Fermi Energia, the criteria for choosing the technology were technological ripeness, pilot facility construction, economic competitiveness and engagement of Estonian companies in the supply chain. 

The BWRX-300 is a 300 MWe small modular boiling water reactor. The highest level of safety is ensured by its ability to cool the residual heat of the fuel with a large amount of water above the reactor, without electricity and human intervention. The letter X in the model name means that this is the 10th generation of GE Hitachi boiling water reactors. The BWRX-300 is a smaller version of the 1520 MWe ESBWR developed by GEH, which was successfully certified by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 2014. The BWRX project uses the same design solutions as the ESBWR. Hence, the technology is reliable. A new important development is faster power plant construction through the use of steel modules. 

To build a nuclear power plant in Estonia, the Riigikogu will need to approve the use of nuclear energy in the country. Also, a special national plan to find a suitable location for the plant has to be initiated, as well as  legislation in the field of nuclear energy to be elaborated. That is why, according to Kalev Kallemets, Fermi Energia CEO, the reliable, clean and affordable nuclear energy production in Estonia should be realized by Christmas 2031 and meet the interests of society and the country’s climate goals.  

Based on the information from Fermi Energia