Olli Soppela

Nuclear Energy Ecosystems – Open Business Day was a success!

A seminar of 172 nuclear energy professionals gathered together in Helsinki for Nuclear Energy Ecosystems – Open Business Day event organized by Finnish Nuclear Energy Ecosystem projects EcoSMR, EcoFusion, dECOmm and FINUELS.

The event speakers delivered over 35 presentations covering topics in Nuclear Generation Fleet Lifecycle Research & Management. The presentations introduced recent SMR Development projects, the latest breakthroughs in Fusion Energy Research and novel Digital & Mechanical Decommissioning Techniques.

The participant list included visitors from industrial companies, international universities and multiple research institutions. Honorary Guests from France, the USA, Germany, Czech Republic delivered the presence of international experience, ideas, and collaboration opportunities.


Wednesday 03.05.22, Seminar Day 1 – Key Speakers & Business Reviews

On the first day of the seminar gathered all the event participants into a collaborative session where industry representatives introduced the latest advancements in the nuclear markets. Executive Vice President Jussi Manninen and Vice President, Nuclear Energy Tommi Nyman delivered a comprehensive briefing about the nuclear solutions available at VTT. Under-Secretary of State Petri Peltonen highlighted the importance of the patient and far-sighted approach toward energy development. Anssi Paalanen introduced the Business Finland Ecosystem services and Megumi Asano-Ulmonen presented the Finnish Industrial Liaison Officer activities within Finnuclear. At the end of the Welcoming session, Netta Skön from Ramboll introduced the main themes and impacts of EU Taxonomy.

After a lunch break filled with vibrant discussion, the program continued with the Key Speaker session. EUROfusion Programme Manager Tony Donné introduced the structure of the European fusion research collaboration and capacities. Sando Baldi, the Commercial Director of NUWARD in EDF, provided insights about the co-generation market potential of SMRs. Petra Lundström, the Vice President of Nuclear Engineering Services at Fortum presented the strategic focus points of Fortum and called for proposals for interaction around nuclear energy development.

The third session of the first day introduced business opportunities in the European Nuclear Energy markets. Ana Belen Cerro Gordo, the ILO of ITER and DONES in CDTI presented the Big Science projects and organizations in Europe. Tim Luce, the Head of Science and Operation in ITER presented the ongoing site activities and upcoming announcement topics of the project. Sophie Macfarlane-Smith, Head of Customer Business in Rolls Royce and Fredrick Vitabäck from GE Hitachi highlighted the important developments in the European SMR markets. Hauke Grages, Key Account Manager D&D and Waste at Framatome introduced the business review of the European decommissioning pipeline.

After the presentations, seminar participants had two hours to spend connecting and going through the Poster Exhibition. In total 24 scientific and commercial posters about fission and fusion research and development topics were covered. The exhibition area was extremely popular, partly because the coffee was served in the same space, and partially because the posters ignited very creative discussions about future collaboration opportunities.

The first day of presentations was successful and lively discussions continued after the program. During the two hours of break between the day program and social dinner in the evening, experts got to know each other and multiple extremely interesting discussions were going strong while the call bell for social dinner started ringing. Event participants gathered for a served dinner at Paasitorni’s restaurant and Petra Lundström from Fortum was awarded the “Most Inspiring Speaker” -price for the well prepared and executed presentation. The dinner proceeded in good spirit until 22.30 when the last guests started to leave the venue to get prepared for the next day’s sessions.


Tuesday 04.05.22, Day 2 – Theme Workshop Sessions & Joint Final Session

On the second day, the seminar participants were divided into three theme groups, each with its own designated programs. The Annual FinnFusion Meeting session filled a room with nearly 50 participants interested in the latest discoveries and research programs on Fusion Energy technologies. Tony Donné introduced the new energy production world record at JET. Veikko Puumala from Comatec, Sami Kiviluoto from Platom, Juha Ottelin from EOS and Olli Naukkarinen from Luvata had interesting company introductions on the services provided to the Big Science projects. Juuli Huuhanmäki from VTT introduced the latest developments in the Fusion Business Ecosystem services.

After the coffee session, Fredric Grandberg from the University of Helsinki introduced the Advanced Computing Hub at the University. Jan Åström from CNC introduced the High-Performance-Computing infrastructure used in fusion research. VTT’s Antti Salmi, William Brace, Tuula Hakkarainen, Petteri Lappalainen and Andris Freimanis introduced VTT’s fusion research topics; Silicon optics for steady-state magnetic field sensors; DEMO RM Strategies and System Architecting; Fire risk analysis of DEMO LiPb component room; Characterization of mechanical properties of irradiated fusion reactor structural materials; Crack assessment in irradiated EUROFER steel. After VTT, the Universities of Aalto, Tampere and Lappeenranta introduced their fusion research topics: Lucia Sanchis from Aalto presented Fast-particle modelling in fusion plasmas and surrounding materials; Laura Goncalves Ribeiro from TUNI introduced the design and manufacturing of optimized retro-reflective markers for photogrammetric pose estimation in ITER. Changyang Li from LUT introduced DEMO plant architecture assessment in RM system design and integration and Patrik Ollus from Aalto introduced the impact of charge exchange on fast ions in a spherical tokamak. Antti Hakola compiled the results of the Annual Meeting to be presented in the Joint Final Session.

In the room below, Small Modular Reactor (SMR) session compiled nearly a hundred participants to exchange ideas about ways forward to get the first European SMRs deployed. Ferdrik Vitaback from GE Hitachi introduced the SMR electricity production case of BWRX-300. Jaakko Leppänen from VTT introduced the LDR-50 district heat reactor concept. Juhani Hyvärinen from LUT went through the known challenges in SMR deployment. Juha Poikola from TVO introduced the challenges from the utility viewpoint. Debbie Francis from NUWARD (EDF) highlighted the international viewpoint of SMR safety approaches and licensing. In the afternoon Sophie Macfarlane-Smith from Rolls Royce presented important aspects of Building Supply Chains. Aaron Held from U.S. Embassy in Finland presented transatlantic collaboration opportunities and structures around SMRs. Antti Rantakaulio from Fortum introduced the SMR collaboration platforms within the EU. The end of the session was used in the co-creation workshop, where Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of SMRs in the European markets were identified and delivered to the Joint Final Session on Day 2 afternoon, where Silja Häkkinen represented the SMR workshop’s voice.

Meanwhile, in the third session room, the experts in Nuclear Decommissioning and Waste Management gathered to present the latest developments in methodology development. Markus Airila and Tatu Harviainen from VTT introduced the experiences of digitalization and robotics methodologies tested in the FiR1-decommissioning project. Timo Palomäki presented the waste management facilities and services provided by TVO. Martin Lerche from Fortum introduced the NURES® radioactive liquid waste management filtration system. Katja Sipilä introduced SWECO’s Building Information Model (BIM) approach for challenging decommissioning project management efficiency improvement. Hauke Grages from Framatome showed the development work of QUATOM® non-destructive waste container scanning and analyzing technology. Markus Eklund from Altum Technologies presented the active non-disruptive ultrasonic pipe maintenance technology. Olli Soppela showed a briefly general business review of the developing market sizes around decommissioning business. The general discussions around the topic revolved around opportunities to improve the safety and cost-efficiency of managing the increasing amount of decommissioning projects.

The range of specialized services offered by the participating organizations was broad and exotic. The represented decommissioning organizations had found great approaches toward solving costly and dangerous challenges in the field of decommissioning. Non-human operated approaches to measure, map, dismantle, transport and decontaminate radioactive materials within decommissioning sites were identified to be an important subject of further development.
The end session group work compiled the key messages from the session to the Joint Final Session.

The second day afternoon brought together the Joint Final Session summaries from the three parallel sessions. Antti Hakola presented the highlights from the Fusion session, Silja Häkkinen presented the key findings from the SMR session and Olli Soppela briefed the conclusions from the Decommissioning session. Poll results from different topics were gathered during the seminar and the results were compiled and presented at the end of the Joint Final Session.