Outokumpu investigating the opportunity to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the stainless steel industry with a small modular reactor

November 16, 2023

Tornio mill from the air

Outokumpu is investigating the opportunity to cut carbon dioxide emissions from its steel production with emerging small modular reactor (SMR) technology. Currently, the purpose of the investigation is to evaluate the feasibility of a small modular reactor. Any possible investment decisions will take place at a later date. A possible location for the SMR would be the area surrounding the Tornio plants.

“A small modular reactor, or SMR, is a small modular nuclear reactor with electric power typically not exceeding 300 megawatts. It can be pre-fabricated in factories as almost complete modules and transported to the location by land or sea. Pre-fabrication is used to achieve lower construction costs and a shorter construction time. In addition to electricity, the SMR could be used to produce district heat, hydrogen and process heat,” says Kristiina Tiilas, Head of the SMR nuclear project at Outokumpu.

Society needs stable and CO2-free electricity – nuclear power the best alternative for industrial scale

Outokumpu, the global leader in sustainable stainless steel, is accelerating the industrial decarbonization in stainless steel production, and is the only company in the industry that has committed to the Science-Based Targets initiative’s 1.5°C climate target. Maintaining and increasing the share of low-carbon energy is important to achieving the company’s ambitious sustainability goals.

“We are in the forefront of decarbonizing the steel industry, and investigating the opportunities to utilize developing technologies in the energy offering is a natural step for us in decreasing our carbon dioxide emissions,” says Tony Lindström, Head of Outokumpu’s energy strategy.

Pre-research related to the small modular reactor has already been initiated, and it will include investigating any possible technical solutions and financial profitability as well as environmental impacts. The pre-research will be used as a foundation to evaluate whether the investment in an SMR is viable, and only then will any possible investment decisions be made.  

* Subheading clarified on November 22. 

Published Nov 16, 2023