Halden is an idyllic little town nestled down by the Iddefjord. Cobblestone streets, large and small shops, cosy restaurants, river promenades and the guest harbour are all within easy reach downtown.Above the town lies the mighty Fredriksten fortress. This large and magnificent fortress is one of the most frequently visited tourist attractions in Norway.

Four research reactors were built in Norway around 1950s and 1960s. Three of them are located in Kjeller, about 20km northeast of Oslo, and one of them in Halden, about 95 km southeast of Oslo. The Halden Boiling Water Reactor was used for material research concerning various types of nuclear fuel and the development of measurement methods and instruments. It was shut down in 2018. All the research reactors are now set to be decommissioned. Linked to the research reactors, there is also a storage and other installations to handle and store the spent fuel and radioactive substances.


The Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) owns and operates the Norwegian research reactors, but the state-owned company Norwegian Nuclear Decommissioning (NND) is set to take over owner responsibility for the reactors in the future. They will then become responsible for decommissioning the research reactors and managing the nuclear waste. NND is still in a build-up phase. When the agency is fully operational and has obtained the necessary licenses from the Norwegian radiation and nuclear safety authority (DSA), NND will be the single point of contact for handling of nuclear waste created in Norway. NND was officially formed in February of 2018 and resides in Halden, Norway.

At present, the country’s energy policy revolves around hydropower and offshore wind power. However the discussions regarding nuclear power (SMRs) increases, due to lack of stability in the energy system.

Photo: Joni Räsänen / Flickr 

Halden by night. It’s a small but picturesque town.