The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear reactor Legal struggle continues between AREVA and Finland’s TVO

judge-1Areva, TVO have month to settle nuclear reactor claims-minister PARIS Jan 20 (Reuters)  French nuclear reactor maker Areva and Finnish customer Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) will try to settle mutual claims over a long-delayed nuclear reactor within a month, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday.

“I had the chance at the start of the week to speak to (Finnish Economy Minister) Olli Rehn, and we gave ourselves a month to let the companies and shareholders find the conditions for an agreement or way out,” Macron said on the sidelines of a New Year event.

Finnish utility TVO and an Areva-led consortium with Siemens are claiming billions of euros from one another in an arbitration suit over cost overruns and delays to the EPR reactor Areva is building in Olkiluoto, in Finland, for TVO.

The unsettled claims are holding up a planned takeover of Areva’s reactor arm by French utility EDF, which does not want to be responsible for them.

TVO has a 2.6 billion euro ($2.8 billion) claim against the Areva-Siemens consortium at the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) arbitration court, while Areva-Siemens have a 3.4 billion euro counter-claim.

While the French state – which owns 85 percent of EDF and 87 percent of Areva – has a big stake in a speedy resolution of the Olkiluoto claims, TVO is a private company and the Finnish government’s position so far has been not to intervene.

TVO’s owners include paper companies UPM and Stora Enso as well as utility Fortum. (Reporting by Michel Rose and Yann Le Guernigou; Writing by Geert De Clercq; Editing by James Regan and Susan Thomas)

January 22, 2016 Posted by | Finland, France, Legal | Leave a comment

Paris COP21 anti-nuclear activists arrested after daring climb on Arche de la Defense

protest COP21Anti-nuclear climbers defy Paris protest ban, four arrested  Four anti-nuclear activists defied the state of emergency ban on public protest in Paris on Wednesday, December 2, climbing up the steel cables beneath the modern Arche de la Defense to hang banners. French environmentalists joined German climbers from the action group in the ascent as the COP 21 climate talks were underway. They first deployed small banners reading “Don’t Nuke the Climate – Stop EPR” (referring to the latest French reactor design). Police were quickly on the scene, including 20 from a specially equipped mountain brigade in town for the event. They pursued the climbers up the cables and prevented a larger banner from unrolling which would have proclaimed “System Change, Not Climate Change!”

The four were taken into custody and charged with disrupting public order and violating the state of emergency before their release some hours later. The action was part of international “Climate Games”, a call to direct action against institutions responsible for climate change.

Their statement said:

“States gathered at the COP 21 are powerless to prevent climate catastrophe. Their interests are too intertwined with those of multinationals. For the political change needed to happen, it is for the people to put pressure on governments and companies responsible for climate change.

“Given the climate problem, a capitalist economic system based on growth can only give us false solutions: geo-engineering, carbon markets and of course nuclear. It does not get us out of the impasse. It feeds unbridled energy consumption… ‘System change’ is to refuse the colonial wars of appropriation of resources and ecosystem changes that cause desperate migration, exacerbate ethnic and religious tensions, and contribute to the nihilistic radicalization of a minority. Faced with the threat of terrorism and the draconian response of the State, it is all the more urgent to carry this message to the heart of French economic power.”

Climber Cécile Lecomte wrote:

“In the international climate debate, uncontrolled economic growth is not discussed as a key driver of climate change. Nuclear power is totally unsuitable as a remedy to destructive economic growth. Instead of focusing on risky technologies, in particular the industrialized countries are invited to take a change of system – towards a democratic, social and ecological economy that is aligned to the needs of all people. Less is more!”

For more information, visité-etat-d-urgence

December 6, 2015 Posted by | Finland, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Deep nuclear waste burial plan approved by Finland’s government

flag-FinlandDeep Storage Plans Approved. IEEE Spectrum  By Lucas Laursen 17 Nov 2015 Finland’s government issued a construction license to nuclear disposal consortium Posiva last week, Reuters reported. The license gives the group approval to build a storage facility on Olkiluoto Island, Finland, designed to last 100,000 years.


waste burial Olkiluoto Island

The facility would be the first of its kind in the world. Since the beginning of the nuclear power age, energy firms have paid to store nuclear waste in temporary holding ponds unlikely to last more than a couple of centuries.  The Posiva facility, decades in the planning, may pioneer a more sustainable era of disposal. (See “Finland’s Nuclear Waste Solution,” IEEE Spectrum, December 2009.)

Nuclear waste consists of metal rods composed mostly of uranium with a molecular weight of 238. Over time, the depleted uranium atoms release radioactive particles—a process called decay—that converts the uranium into lighter elements. Over billions of years, those atoms decay, too. By the end, all that is left is lead.

In the (long) meantime, however, the radioactive material can contaminate its surroundings, and therefore requires costly management. The United States and other nuclear-powered countries have thus far proven unable to agree on where to store their half-century’s worth of accumulated nuclear waste. An earthquake, volcanic activity, or even a slow leak of water could disrupt the temporary facilities in which the waste now sits.

To provide safer and more permanent storage, Posiva proposes to bury electrically-welded iron-and-copper capsules 400 meters underground. The capsules would be surrounded by clay barriers and capped with rubble and cement. The facility, which would have a 6,500 metric ton capacity, could likely hold Finland and Sweden’s projected future nuclear waste. But that capacity doesn’t come close to the volume required by larger nations such as the United States, which has over 70,000 metric tons of waste piled up, and produces an additional 2,200 tons a year.

Though tunneling has been going on for over a decade, Posiva had to wait for the Finnish government to approve its 2012 construction permit application before it could begin the trickier task of loading radioactive waste into its metal coffins. That task may begin as soon as 2023, continue for up to a century, and end when operators fill in the access tunnels with rubble and cap them off with cement. Posiva estimates that installation and operating costs for the first century will be around €3 billion (US $3.21 billion).

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Finland, Reference, wastes | 1 Comment

Finland’s nuclear waste burial plan

flag-Finlandwastes-1Finland’s Nuclear Waste Solution. IEEE Spectrum,  By Sandra Upson 30 Nov 2009 Here on Olkiluoto Island, the forest is king. Elk and deer graze near sun-dappled rivers and shimmering streams, and humans search out blueberries and chanterelle mushrooms. Weathered red farmhouses sit along sleepy dirt roads in fields abutting the woods. Far beneath the vivid green forest, deep in the bedrock, workers are digging the labyrinthine passages and chambers that they hope to someday pack with all of Finland’s spent nuclear fuel.

Posiva, the Finnish company building an underground repository here, says it knows how to imprison nuclear waste for 100 000 years. These multimillennial thinkers are confident that copper canisters of Scandinavian design, tucked into that bedrock, will isolate the waste in an underground cavern impervious to whatever the future brings: sinking permafrost, rising water, earthquakes, copper-eating microbes, or oblivious land developers in the year 25 000. If the Finnish government agrees—a decision is expected by 2012—this site will become the world’s first deep, permanent repository for spent nuclear fuel.

Of course, not everyone shares Posiva’s confidence. ”It’s deep hubris to think you can contain it,” says Charles McCombie, executive director of the Association for Regional and International Underground Storage, based in Switzerland.

There’s more at stake here than the interment of 5500 metric tons of spent Finnish fuel. More than 50 years after the first commercial nuclear power plants went operational in the United Kingdom and the United States, the world’s 270 000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel remain in limbo. After it gets swapped out of a reactor, utilities put it in specially designed pools, where chilled, circulating water absorbs the initial heat and radioactivity. After about five or six years, the fuel has cooled considerably, enabling utilities with limited pool space to load it into huge, million-dollar steel casks that are left to sit on concrete pads within guarded compounds.

The arrangement is far from ideal. Continue reading

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Finland, Reference, wastes | 2 Comments

Finland’s underground nuclear waste storage plan approved

flag-FinlandFinland approves underground nuclear waste storage plan, Reuters, 12 Nov 15 

HELSINKI Finland has become the first country in the world to give a construction license for a permanent underground nuclear waste repository, the center-right government said on Thursday.

waste-burialIt approved Posiva Oy’s plan to construct a spent nuclear fuel encapsulation plant and disposal facility at the island of Olkiluoto, western Finland. Local people have accepted the plan.

Up to 6,500 tonnes of uranium may be deposited in the facility, some 450 meters (490 yards) below the surface in the granite bedrock. It is estimated to become operational from around 2023.

Sweden has similar plans, but Posiva said it is a few years behind Finland. “This is a huge step for us. We’ve done research and development work for this for more than 40 years,” said CEO Janne Mokka.

The world has 270,000 tonnes of used fuel stockpiled, much of it under water in ponds at nuclear power stations, adding to the urgency of finding a permanent storage solution  for material that can remain toxic for hundreds of thousands of years.

In Posiva’s disposal process, the waste will be packed in copper canisters and transferred into tunnels and further into deposition holes lined with bentonite buffer. Construction is expected to cost just under a billion euros, and the total cost estimate, including operational costs for 100 years, is 3.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion).

Before the repository can go operational, Posiva must yet again analyze its environmental impacts, including the ability to retrieve the nuclear waste if necessary as well as the transport risks……..

November 13, 2015 Posted by | Finland, wastes | Leave a comment

A warning to UK – the disastrous history of Finland’s Olkiluoto nuclear station

“what’s most striking at the experience of Olkiluoto — just how many different things have gone wrong.”

reactor-Olkiluoto_14New nuclear: Finland’s cautionary tale for the UK ,Carbon Brief, 20 Oct 15,Finland has a 15-year-old problem called Olkiluoto 3. This nuclear plant was once the bright star of Finland’s energy future and Europe’s nuclear renaissance.

It was seen as a key component in Finland’s plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissionsby 80% by 2050 and end reliance on foreign imports of electricity, even during its long, dark Arctic winters. It is supposed to provide Finland with a low-carbon source of electricity for at least 60 years.

2006 article in the Telegraph spoke of the rebirth of Finnish love for nuclear power, describing the Olkiluoto site in phrases that could have been lifted from a pastoral poem: a “Baltic island of foraging swans”, “pine-scented” air and “unusually large salmon”.

But this source of hope has turned sour. Olkiluoto 3 — almost unpronounceable to non-Finns — is now nine years behind schedule and three times over budget. It has been subject to lawsuits, technology failure, construction errors and miscommunication. A rift between the companies behind the plant has been describedas “one of the biggest conflicts in the history of the construction sector”.

At best, it has been a turbulent lift-off to the lauded rebirth of nuclear power in western Europe. For the UK, which hopes to be a part of this renaissance, the story of Olkiluoto 3 offers a cautionary tale.


The story of Olkiluoto 3 began in 2000…….

Construction problems

It is now 2015, and Finland still does not have its new nuclear plant.

The companies behind the project are at loggerheads. TVO is seeking compensation from Areva in court, the company responsible for supplying the reactor and turbine, and Areva is pursuing a counterclaim.

Herkko Plit, the deputy director of Finland’s energy department, tells Carbon Brief:

“I don’t think there’s anybody who can say they are pleased with the project.”……….

The case is being dealt with in the International Chamber of Commerce‘s arbitration court.

Nonetheless, Areva has been forced to accept losses. The company, which hasn’t turned a profit since 2010, recorded net losses of €4.8bn in 2014, largely due to Olkiluoto. It has agreed to sell a majority stake in its nuclear reactor business to EDF.

If the lawsuit turns against TVO, it could be Finland’s industry that feels the pain. The utilities company is owned by shareholders that buy the right to use the electricity produced by the power station……..

what’s most striking at the experience of Olkiluoto — just how many different things have gone wrong.”

October 23, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, Finland | Leave a comment

Fennovoima the last hurrah for nuclear industry in Finland

Regional daily: PM Sipilä says Fennovoima could be Finland’s last nuclear project

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä says it’s unlikely that his government will approve any new nuclear power plants after the Fennovoima project, reports the regional daily Keskisuomalainen. In an interview with Keskisuomalainen, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä stated that the Fennovoima project could be Finland’s last nuclear power plant. However Sipilä stressed that no firm decisions had been made on the issue.

Sipilä said that it seemed unlikely that any new proposals for nuclear power plants would come up for consideration during the current government’s term in office.

Sipilä added that during government formation talks he had conducted a straw poll among prospective coalition partners. It was on this basis that he said it was “very unlikely that anything further would happen on this front.”

“There are no applications or any discussions ongoing about nuclear power permits,” Sipilä remarked.

Sipilä’s government programme has made no mention of nuclear power; rather, it has highlighted the possibilities of the bio-energy sector……..

August 7, 2015 Posted by | Finland, politics | Leave a comment

Migrit rejected for nuclear investment in Finland – “a front for Russian capital”.

flag-FinlandFinnish officials reject nuclear plant investor By David Crouch in Gothenburg, July 16, 2015   Finland’s plan to build a nuclear power station with help from Russia has been thrown into doubt after officials in Helsinki rejected a mysterious investor that it is alleged has links with Moscow.

Russian-BearThe move raises a fresh obstacle to the project, which has been dogged by accusations that Finland is placing Russian interests before EU foreign policy objectives.

Finland’s economics ministry said on Thursday that the ownership of Migrit Solarna Energija, a Croatian group listed as owning almost 9 per cent of the Fennovoima project, could not be “adequately verified”.

The ministry said it could not establish with certainty that the company was “factually controlled” from inside western Europe.

Finland’s government has insisted that 60 per cent of the €6bn–€7bn cost of the nuclear plant should be borne by companies residing or domiciled in the EU or the wider European Free Trade Association, which includes Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

However, without Migrit, this requirement will not be met — which means either a new investor or additional investment from existing shareholders.

“We cannot speculate on who Migrit is controlled by,” said Herkko Plit, a senior civil servant in the economics ministry. “It has many relations to foreign countries, not just Russia. But . . . those people who founded it originally were Russians. The current owners are also Russian citizens to the best of our knowledge.”

Fennovoima plans to begin construction of a 1,200-megawatt reactor at Pyhaejoki in northern Finland in 2018, with operation due to begin in 2024.

But the company has struggled to find backers after the main original shareholder, the German utility Eon which had a 34 per cent stake, withdrew in 2012 after energy prices fell. Rosatom, the Russian state-owned nuclear company that will build the plant, now owns a 34 per cent stake.

Olli Rehn, a former European commissioner who in April became economics minister in Finland’s rightwing coalition government, said a decision on the future of the Fennovoima project would be referred to a meeting of the government on August 6.

“It seems that behind the Croatian company are Russian financiers,” Mr Rehn told YLE, the Finnish broadcaster, although he declined to say whether he believed that Migrit was linked to Rosatom………..

anti-nuclear campaigners said the new doubts about the project should be enough to kill it off. “It should be a sign to the government — if they cannot find investors the plant is not viable,” said Sini Harkki, Greenpeace programme manager for Finland.

She said it appeared that Migrit was “a front for Russian capital”.

“Fennovoima has had several years to find investors, and all it has found was this small Croatian company,” she added.

July 18, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, Finland, politics international | Leave a comment

Russia’s Rosatom behind the funding for Finland’s Fennovoima nuclear project

That’s not the end of nuclear problems in Finland. The country is suffering through a protracted mess with Areva, the French nuclear company, over the building the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear plant. The project is years late and billions over budget with no end to the problems in sight.

With lessons like those from Rosatom and Areva’s Finnish nuclear projects, it is no wonder that in Finland the public majority is against nuclear.

Russian-Bearflag-FinlandCount on the nuclear industry to have strange things happen

by Brian Blomme – 7 July, 2015 

It has been said often on the Nuclear Reaction blog but bears repeating: the nuclear industry really can’t be trusted. A good case in point is the bizarre antics in Finland right now. On June 30th, Fennovoima, a Finnish utility, submitted an application to the government to build a nuclear plant. One of the utility’s partners is Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear corporation.

To apply for a license, the government requires the project to be 60% owned by companies from the European Union or the European Trade Association. The 60% criterion was put in place by the Finnish government in order to control Russian influence over the country’s energy policy. And that means that Rosatom can’t be the biggest player in this game.

But, a strange thing happened on the filing deadline of June 30. Out of the blue, a new financing partner was found so that the project could meet the 60% rule and could go ahead. At least, that’s the claim.

Greenpeace Nordic decided to take a closer look at this strangely fortuitous development for Rosatom’s Finnish nuclear project. We uncovered what appears to be quite a different story, from a serendipitous turn of events in the form of a new nuclear investment partner.

Instead of a viable European company with a track record that would suggest it is a credible business partner, Greenpeace found a Croatian company, Migrit Solarna Energija, that operates out of an apartment block in Zagreb. It has no employees, capital stock of only 26,000 Euros, and absolutely no income in 2012-2013. And yet, this company is supposedly going to be able to contribute 150 million Euros to the project?

More importantly, Greenpeace found what appear to be strong ties between this tiny company holed up in an apartment complex, and Russia’s nuclear giant, Rosatom.   Continue reading

July 10, 2015 Posted by | Finland, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Without building permit, Russian-built nuclear reactor preparations go on in Finland

flag-FinlandPyhäjoki cottages in Finland make way for Russian-built nuclear reactor  YLE News Eye on the Arctic May 21, 2015 The site of Fennovoima’s planned nuclear plant is starting to take shape at Pyhäjoki in north Ostrobothnia — despite the presence of protesters trying to stop the construction and a few landowners who have so far refused to sell up.

Trees have been felled and roads built in the area, even though the government has not yet granted the final building permit. Fennovoima only has a provisional permit granted last year and must seek a final permit this summer in addition to a permit from the local municipality to begin building work.

Most of the cottages located on the Hanhikiviniemi peninsula have already been purchased by Fennovoima, but the last few holdouts are now subject to compulsory purchase orders. According to the orders, the cottages must be vacated and handed over by the end of May, even though appeals against the compulsory purchase orders are still pending.

Protests on the way Fennovoima currently controls around 990 acres of land and water at Hanhikiviniemi, and this will increase to 1,235 acres with the new acquisitions.

The local Pro Hanhikivi group is opposed to the project, but is also resisting the influx of activists who are camped out in protest at the ongoing construction work. The group is planning a legal challenge to Fennovoima’s actions, and says it does not support protests by more radical groups.

“We want the court to take a view on the principle of whether it’s allowed to grant a permit to start construction that is irreversible,” said Pro Hanhikivi vice-chair and Green League MP Hanna Halmeenpää.

She says the local council’s decision to allow initial building work to proceed is against Finland’s municipal laws and runs counter to the principles of good governance.

Lengthy delays

The Fennovoima plant was originally approved by parliament in 2010, but planning delays and financing issues have dogged the project since then. Last autumn the Green League walked out of government in protest at the arrival of Russian firm Rosatom as the contractor and part-owner of the plant.

The Greens felt that such a major change in the plans meant they should be re-considered from scratch.

Even then, financing was not secure until state-owned energy firm Fortum stepped in to take a major stake in Fennovoima. According to the original terms on which the project was approved, a majority of the ownership should be in European, meaning European Union, hands.

The project has also prompted opposition in Sweden, where 20,000 people signed a petition opposing the new reactor. Pyhäjoki is located just 96 miles from the Swedish coast.

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch News as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.

May 22, 2015 Posted by | Finland, politics | Leave a comment

The anti nuclear fight in Finland – JOIN THE STRUGGLE!

2.5.2015 HYOKYAALTO 
The Fennovoima Energy Company is starting to construct a nuclear power plant in Pyhäjoki, a nice, quiet and small municipality in the northwest of Finland. An action camp has been started in the area to stop the project.

During the second half of April, Fennovoima cut 95 hectares of very special coastal forest at the construction site. They didn’t wait for a month for the legal permission to clearcut the landscape. Instead, Fennovoima started destroying the forest on Wednesday, the 15 of April. The forest was a home for several rare birds and other species. Nests of endangered white-backed woodpeckers (Dendrocopos leucotos) were destroyed, a very rare white-tailed eagle got disturbed as dozens of machines demolished its neighborhood.

The operation was carried out by the Waste Management Company Lassila & Tikanoja. The fast start of the cutting was a shock for many people and organizations. The local nature conservation association, the bird protection association and the antinuclear organization Pro Hanhikivi that have been opposing Fennovoima complained and demanded to stop the cutting of the forest immediately. The nesting season of the birds had started already. Many antinuclear people resigned their waste management contract with Lassila & Tikanoja immediately.

In Helsinki 5 people from the Hyökyaalto Eco Action Group took necessary action and entered the headquarters of Lassila & Tikanoja, in order to distribute flyers to the workers in their offices and they refused to leave the building before the cuttings would be stopped. Three people were carried out by police and arrested. They were released on the same day.

We, the Hyökyaalto Eco Action Group, had already planned to start a camp at the forest area, but now we had to hurry. …….

n the camp all kind of little disturbing of the work process became a daily routine. The only road to the cabins goes through the clean cut area and is used by the cutting workers, so people who used the road slowed down the disturbing of the environment whenever there was a log truck or security car on the road. Soon the security company forgot that the road is a public road and started stopping cars from getting to the shore area where the cottages are and accused us as well as the locals for trespassing in the area. Fennovoima’s illegal attempts to try to occupy the cape, while it was still privately owned and public accessible land, raised even more anger amongst the residents.

On Saturday the next bigger blockade was carried out by the activists. ……..

In the last few days there has been more and more critical news about Fennovoima and their actions. There are only two months left until the deadline on June 2015, when Fennovoima needs to have 60% Finnish ownership according the government officials, and it´s still lacking investors. The Finnish state partly owns a company named Fortum and they are negotiating about Russian involvement in hydropower and are about to buy 15% of Fennovoima. If that wouldn´t happen, Fennovoima would be in deep problems. They would probably not be able to cut themselves off of the construction contracts before 1th of July when their decision in principle (permission from the government and parliament) will expire and they would need to start the whole political process again.

Many people wonder if any reasonable company would be willing to jump into the mess Fennovoima has created, or still consider if they want to confirm the old contracts……….

. This spring and summer will be a period of active resistance for us, and we don’t intend to leave the area after the summer period either. Now is the best moment to make the greedy nuclear power project fall. Still, we need help!! Join the resistance!

Right now, we have been more than successful in our fight against Fennovoima. We have supporters and several different resources to continue our resistance. We have found a vast majority of people positively supporting us through social media, email, phone, and the local supporters have been generous in providing us with clean drinking water, washing facilities and shelter.

And yet, nevertheless, more people are needed here, in Pyhäjoki. ……..

The final expropriation date has been set by Fennovoima to the end of May. This is the most important time to gather at the cape of Hanhikivi, the most beautiful place of nature that Finland has to offer for nature lovers, families and those who love to see rare species of animals in their natural environment.

Join us:
Check – People Power Against Nuclear Power Action Camp – for camp info and directions for getting to Pyhäjoki.
Email: fenstop(at)riseup(dot)net
Call: +358 466 28 67 68

May 6, 2015 Posted by | Finland, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Finland’s very misguided nuclear obsession

The Finnish politicians have apparently not learned anything from Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl, and Fukushima.

OL4 appears, thankfully, to have been shelved for the time being. But OL3, one of the ten most expensive construction projects in the world and beset by delays and astronomical costs, could end up as the world’s biggest nuclear mausoleum.

The Fennovoima project, however is still going ahead. But an active citizens’ movement has come together to oppose it, and they may yet succeed.

Finland’s new government (not yet appointed at the time of writing) will have the decision in its hands, as they will have to decide about the construction permit application that Fennovoima is to submit in July this year.

Petition: ‘Stop the Nuclear power plant in Pyhäjoki built by Fennovoima!

Klötzer,-UllaRussian roulette? Finland’s inexplicable nuclear obsession, Ecologist Ulla Klötzer
1st May 2015 Does Finland suffer from a nuclear death wish? So it seems, writes Ulla Klötzer. Its government responded to the world’s two greatest nuclear disasters by … ordering a new nuclear plant. And as the Olkiluoto nuclear project descended into face and litigation over a disputed €5 billion, they resolved to build two more. This time, supplied by Russia’s nuclear weapon-maker Rosatom.

Finland was the first western country to decide to build a new nuclear power plant after the Chernobyl accident, as well as after the Fukushima catastrophe – despite of almost all opinion polls showing that a majority of Finns are critical to nuclear power.

The first project, decided upon in 2002, was at the existing Olkiluoto nuclear site – the OL3 European Pressurized Reactor (EPR), a ‘third generation’ pressurized water design.

reactor-Olkiluoto_14This 1.6 GW reactor, which is currently being built by the French company Areva for the Finnish energy supplier TVO, will be the biggest reactor in the world.

The construction work started in 2005 and the reactor was to be connected to the grid in 2009. The fixed turnkey-price was €3.2 billion. According to Areva, EPR is “a reactor with an unparalleled level of security, extremely resistant to both internal and external risks.”

Today, the price has soared to about €9 billion and the reactor is estimated to be completed only in 2018. According to the Helsinki Timesin November 2013, the OL3 reactor may upon completion become the most expensive building in the world. Continue reading

May 6, 2015 Posted by | Finland, politics | Leave a comment

Finland’s nuclear regulator demands safety check for Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor’s pressure vessel

Nuclear watchdog seeks re-check of Olkiluoto 3 reactor yle 18 Apr 15 The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) is demanding that energy utility TVO carry out new tests of the durability of the pressure vessel planned for the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor. This follows a recent discovery by French officials of inconsistencies in the mechanical toughness of a vessel made for a similar reactor, also being built by the French company Areva.

pressure vessel olkiluoto

The third unit for the Flamanville, France reactor was built by Areva in France, while the one to be used in the Finnish reactor has been assembled in Japan. Both units are of the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) type.

“There are inconsistencies in the material that the reactor vessel is made of,” Tapani Virolainen, Deputy Director of STUK’s Nuclear Reactor Regulation Department, confirmed to Yle…….Virolainen explains that anomalies were found in both the reactor vessel head and reactor vessel bottom head. He says STUK will ask TVO to re-check the reactor vessel’s manufacturing process…….

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Finland, safety, technology | Leave a comment

Finland’s coming election: majority of candidates oppose further nuclear reactors

ballot-boxSmflag-FinlandMajority of election candidates oppose further nuclear reactors YLE UUTISET 15 Mar 15 An Yle survey of 1,800 parliamentary hopefuls ahead of next month’s election found that 57 percent say they would not grant any more licences to construct nuclear plants. The conservative National Coalition Party was by far the most in favour of nuclear power, with the Greens and Left Alliance the most strongly opposed.

The majority of candidates in Finland’s upcoming parliamentary election have said they would oppose granting licences to build any new nuclear reactors.

Responding to questions on their attitudes to nuclear power during Yle’s interviews with 1,800 election hopefuls, 57 percent of candidates said they would not agree to any more building licences being granted.

The majority of candidates expressed clear views on the divisive issue of nuclear power, with only five percent of respondents saying they were neither in favour or against……

March 16, 2015 Posted by | Finland, politics | Leave a comment

Need to research effects of electromagnetic radiation from cellphones to children

flag-FinlandRadiation watchdog wants harder look at children and smartphones YLE UUTISET, UUTISET  NEWS  9 Dec 14 Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority STUK hopes to see more research on the possible impact on children of the radiation emitted by smartphones, reports Yle’s investigative programme MOT. However STUK does not have the funding for a study and government spending cuts have closed its own radiation biology laboratory.

According to a study by mobile services operator DNA, 75% of children in Finland between the ages of 6 and 12 have their own smartphones.


Smartphones emit more radiation than do basic talk-and-text cell phones since they generate radiation even when they are not actively being used. No data is available on what the daily level of radiation is that children are subject to from these devices, or how this radiation affects children in particular.

“Overall estimates concerning the current situation are not available. We do not know the impact, for example, of the levels of internet usage. This would be an interesting research subject,” says Tommi Toivonen, Head of Laboratory at STUK’s Department of Radiation Practices Regulation.

More specifically, the biological effects of this radiation on children are unknown……….

December 10, 2014 Posted by | children, Finland | Leave a comment


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