The photo is sourced from nucnet.org
If the application receives an initial regulatory approval, the project will need to undergo an environmental impact assessment and then obtain licenses for the technologies to be used for construction of the reactors. Norsk Kjernekraft estimates that a complete project cycle will take ten years, after which Norway will be able to use nuclear power for regular electricity generation for the first time in its history.
Previously, the country had two research reactors in operation. One of them, located in the town of Halden in the south of the country, was used for testing nuclear materials and fuel, and the other, installed in the village of Kjeller, 25 kilometres away from Oslo, was designed for experiments on neutron scattering. However, both reactors were shut down in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
The construction of small modular reactors will solidify dominance of low-carbon sources in Norway’s power industry. According to Ember, the hydropower share in the country’s generation mix in 2022 was 88.3%, with wind turbines and solar panels providing 10.5% of power generation, while a combined share of gas, coal and oil-fired power plants was just 1.2%. As a result, Norway is significantly ahead of the global average in terms of specific greenhouse gas emissions from the power industry: the global 2022 average was 438 grams of CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gases per kilowatt-hour of generation, but Norway’s – only 29 grams of CO2 equivalent
Growing interest in the construction of small nuclear power plants (SNPP) is one of the key trends in the global energy sector, which is associated with the need to reduce emissions and maintain energy supply reliability. The world’s first floating SNPP, the Akademik Lomonosov floating nuclear power plant, was put into commercial operation in 2020 at the port of Pevek, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. In turn, the world’s first ground-based SNPP will be the Linglong One project to be implemented by 2026 in Hainan province, southern China.