Small modular reactors (SMRs) present an emerging market for both existing actors in the nuclear industry and new actors working with low-carbon solutions to energy production and use. Small reactors have the potential to be future of nuclear for electricity production, but they are also suited to tackle several global use cases of fossil fuels in the district heating industry. In Europe alone, the total heat use is more than 3000 TWh annually. This equals more than 380 GW of constantly running capacity, which needs to be decarbonized.
There is potential for Finnish utilities and industry to decarbonize their processes and for Finnish companies to find their place in SMR supply chains. The first adopters of SMR technology would benefit from all international deployment of SMRs through consulting work and supply chain experience. Many SMR concepts are based on light water reactor technology. For these, the Finnish expertise on nuclear power is mostly directly applicable and only needs to be adjusted for the specific characteristics of small reactors. It is a promising time for competence development in the SMR field and to form international connections. However, licensing and siting of small reactors is currently on open question in Finland and globally. Gaining a foothold on these topics supports international consulting exports in the early stages of SMR deployment.
EcoSMR aims to support Finnish industry to create an innovation and business ecosystem that better understands customer needs for SMR and the potential of Finnish technology on global energy market. The project will both analyse technologies, licensing and business "as-is" and supports its development "to-be" what is needed for the emerging market.