Practice with offices in Amsterdam and London hopes Swedish project will become a model for next generation nuclear energy

SMR Energy Campus - Instance

Source: Instance

Proposed Small Modular Reactor campus in Nyköping, Sweden

Architectural practice Instance is collaborating with energy development company Kärnfull Next on the establishment of a small modular reactor (SMR) campus in Nyköping, located on Sweden’s east coast.

The firm, with offices in Amsterdan and London, has experience in masterplanning and designing SMR nuclear facilities, data centers and smart campuses.

Christian Sjölander, CEO and founder of Kärnfull Next said: “Our vision is that one of Europe’s first SMR parks can be taken into operation here in the early 2030s. Having several small reactors creates future-proof jobs and opportunities for co-location with other high-tech industries.”

A decision to proceed to implementation remains dependent upon continued positive outcomes from technical studies, successful planning and safety approvals, and finance. 

Sweden recently announced that it was planning to build ten new nuclear reactors to add to its existing six. 

The government, which is a coalition between the Moderates, Christian Democrats, Liberals and the far-right Sweden Democrats, has been criticised for the decision by anti-nuclear environmental campaigners. 

Sweden’s move towards expansion of its nuclear power industry has been presented as a response to the climate emergency. It also follows steep energy price increases resulting from Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions imposed on Russian oil and gas exports.

The war and its economic fallout have prompted many European nations to reassess their energy security. Sweden’s decision contrasts markedly from that of Germany which ceased generating power from its last three remaining reactors in April 2023.

Sweden’s climate minister, Romina Pourmokhtari

Source: Shutterstock

Sweden’s climate minister, Romina Pourmokhtari

Sweden’s climate minister, Romina Pourmokhtari, has defended the decision, arguing that the country needed to double its production of electricity over the coming two decades. 

The UK has committed to expand its own nuclear generating capacity, although the Scottish government has ruled out any new reactors north of the border. 

In 2023, the UK government established Great British Nuclear to oversee implementation of its nuclear policy. The body is tasked with the competitive selection of SMR suppliers for the UK. Contenders to build the new reactors include GE-Hitachi and Rolls-Royce.

Grant Shapps, the then secretary of state for energy security and net zero, announced £20bn of funding for new reactors in July, when he descibed the UK’s decision to move away from nuclear energy in the 1980s as a “colossal mistake”.