Potential of nuclear technology to decarbonize the Nordic steel industry
Outokumpu and Fortum to investigate decarbonization potential of SMR nuclear technology in stainless steel production
The Outukumpu steelmaking complex in Tornio, Finland (Photo: Outukumpu)
In a Memorandum of Understanding, stainless steel producer Outukumpu and Nordic energy company Fortum have expressed their intention to jointly investigate the potential of nuclear technology on the basis of Small Modular Reactors (SMR) to reduce the carbon footprint of Outukumpu’s steelmaking operations.
Fortum has set itself the goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, with the exit from coal-based energy generation to be achieved by the end of 2027. Fortum considers the use of nuclear technologies as an option to ensure stable carbon-free electricity supplies alongside hydro-power, wind and solar generation. Both Outokumpu and Fortum have committed themselves to the 1.5° C climate target. One of Fortum’s priorities is to promote decarbonization by partnering with strategic customers such as Outukumpu, which is Finland’s largest buyer of electrical power.
SMR technology as an option to accelerate decarbonization in industry
The MOU kicks-off a long-term process that will initially focus on identifying suitable business models and further developing viable technological solutions that may eventually lead to the construction of a Small Modular Reactor unit in Finland. In this context, the companies will consider the Tornio region, the location of Outukumpu’s largest steel mill, as a potential option.
“We are excited to explore the possibilities offered by small modular reactors together with Fortum, as part of our sustainability journey,” says Heikki Malinen, President and CEO, Outokumpu.