GEH’s BWRX-300 is a new generation boiling water reactor that comes with high safety features, where the residual heat of the fuel is cooled using a large volume of water above the reactor


Fermi Energia selects GE Hitachi’s BWRX-300. (Credit: Fermi Energia)

Estonian nuclear energy company Fermi Energia has selected GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) to procure the latter’s BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR).

The company intends to deploy GEH’s BWRX-300 SMR at its proposed nuclear power plant in Estonia, planned to be constructed by early 2030.

The contract builds on a previous collaboration between GEH and Fermi Energia for potential deployment applications for the BWRX-300, signed in 2019.

In 2021, the companies extended the collaboration to work in key areas, including licensing support and supply chain development.

BWRX-300 is a new generation boiling water reactor with 300MW generation capacity, currently in initial construction phase in Canada.

It comes with high safety features, where the residual heat of the fuel is cooled using a large volume of water above the reactor, eliminating electric power or human intervention.

GEH president and CEO Jay Wileman said: “We are honored that our small modular reactor technology has been selected by Fermi Energia to help Estonia fulfill its energy security and climate goals. This technology selection further validates the BWRX-300 as the leading SMR solution.

“By leveraging a unique combination of existing fuel, plant simplifications, proven components and a design based on an already licensed reactor, the BWRX-300 offers cost-competitive, zero carbon emission generation in a meaningful timeframe.”

In addition to GE Hitachi, Fermi Energia has received proposals from the British company Rolls-Royce and the American company NuScale.

The believes that GEH’s BWRX-300 SMR is best match for its power plant in Estonia.

Fermi Energia intends to gradually start he planning, design and construction of the new nuclear power plant based on the Darlington nuclear power plant near Toronto, Ontario.

To construction at Estonian nuclear power plant, the requires a positive decision from the parliament of Estonia (Riigikogu).

In addition, it also requires a special national plan to determine a better location for the plant, along with the development of nuclear energy legislation, said Fermi Energia.

Fermi Energia CEO Kalev Kallemets said: “The BWRX-300 is in principle a boiling water reactor, which is used and well known by many European countries, including Finland and Sweden.

“However, the specific reactor model is much smaller than the ones used in the nuclear plants of our northern neighbors, which allows greater safety, lower cost, and shorter build time.

“At the same time, it is possible to rely on the experience of neighbors and offer the consumer clean electricity at an affordable and stable price.”