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Finland company looks to China’s lucrative nuclear decommissionig and nuclear waste market

Finnish firms target Chinese radwaste market, WNN, 23 August 2018

Based on expected installed nuclear generating capacity of 50 GWe by 2020, China’s annual used fuel arisings will amount to about 1200 tonnes at that stage, the cumulative total being about 14,000 tonnes then.

“As China becomes increasingly mindful of environmental integrity and reduces its use of fossil fuels, [its] zero-carbon nuclear energy solution requires enhanced focus on radioactive waste management,” the companies said in a joint statement. “Finnish expertise has an important role in disposing of Chinese radioactive waste and building a cleaner future together with shared respect for nature and the environment.”……….Finnish waste management company Posiva – jointly owned by Fortum and TVO – launched Posiva Solutions in June 2016. The business, it said, would “focus on the marketing of the know-how accumulated from the design, research and development efforts in the final disposal of used nuclear fuel, as well as on associated consulting services”. http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Finnish-firms-target-Chinese-radwaste-market

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August 24, 2018 Posted by | China, Finland, wastes | Leave a comment

Warming sea water affecting cooling systems in Finland’s nuclear power station

Warm sea water in Finland reduces power from Loviisa nuclear plant https://www.reuters.com/article/us-finland-nuclear-fortum-oyj/warm-sea-water-in-finland-reduces-power-from-loviisa-nuclear-plant-idUSKBN1KF2COLefteris Karagiannopoulos 26 July 18  OSLO (Reuters) – Finland’s Loviisa power plant, consisting of two reactors with a combined capacity of 1 gigawatt, had to reduce power by 170 megawatts on Wednesday as the sea water that is used to cool the reactors had become too warm, operator Fortum said.

Because of the very warm temperatures the Nordic region is currently experiencing, the sea water that is collected to cool the Loviisa reactors is warmer and the water released is also warmer, at 32 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.

Releasing hot water back to the sea after cooling the reactors could be a hazard and if it exceeds 34 degrees Fortum said the reactors must be shut down due to regulations.

“We decreased power by 170 megawatts for a bit less than two hours. The sea water that cools the reactors was at 24 degrees, which is warmer than usual,” Fortum’s chief of operations in the plant, Timo Eurasto, told Reuters.

Such a rare occurrence may happen again in the next days because of the unusually warm temperatures, he said, adding that there was no danger to people, the plant, or the environment.

“High sea water temperature may indeed reduce the efficiency of the cooling systems of the plant. This is compensated by reducing or shutting down the reactor power,” said Nina Lahtinen, nuclear safety section head at Finland’s regulator STUK.

In Germany traders warned last week that higher temperatures in August may create cooling issues for the country’s reactors, with E.ON subsidiary PreussenElektra cutting output slightly from two units.

Sweden’s nuclear energy regulator SSM, told Reuters on Tuesday that power production at the Forsmark nuclear plant has also been reduced “by a few percentage points” due to cooling issues.

Last time Fortum had to reduce power in its reactors due to warmer-than-usual cooling water was seven years ago, said Loviisa plant’s Eurasto.

Unusually warm and dry weather in the Nordics led temperatures to record highs this summer, affecting water levels at the reservoirs that feed Norway and Sweden with hydropower, causing prices to spike as a result.

July 27, 2018 Posted by | climate change, Finland | Leave a comment

Finland’s nuclear waste dump will still be in the trial stage for years

Nucnet 25th June 2018, A full-scale in-situ system test for spent nuclear fuel disposal is
expected to begin this week at Posiva’s planned final deep geologic
disposal facility at Olkiluoto, Finland. Posiva’s owner Teollisuuden
Voima Oyj (TVO) said the test will be the first of its kind and means that
Posiva is making progress towards the operational test phase of its final
disposal system and technology.

According to TVO, the test will last for
several years. It aims to prove that the prototype processes for geological
storage at Posiva’s repository are “all working concepts”. The test
has been in preparation since December 2017, TVO said. The processes
include placing fuel assemblies packed in copper-steel canisters inside
holes drilled in the bedrock tunnels. This is followed by backfilling the
tunnels with bentonite clay and sealing them with a cast plug. Two test
canisters will be equipped with thermal resistors simulating the residual
temperature of spent nuclear fuel, TVO said. A TVO official said the
temperature and pressure in the canisters, test holes and the surrounding
bedrock, and the behaviour of the backfill of the tunnels, will be
monitored by some 500 sensors over several years.
https://www.nucnet.org/all-the-news/2018/06/25/finland-s-posiva-to-begin-world-s-first-in-situ-system-test-at-final-repository-site

June 29, 2018 Posted by | Finland, wastes | Leave a comment

New problem is troubling Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear project

Tekniik & Talous 14th May 2018 , [Machine Translation] New problems have arisen in TVO’s hot tests at
Olkiluoto 3. The connection line of the main pipework of the plant, the reactor cooling circuit, vibrates more than allowed. The problem is reported by the supervising authority Stuk in its recent monitoring report.

The problem has emerged in hot tests where the reactor and turbine plant systems are heated by the heat generated by the main circulation pumps to the correct operating temperatures. Heat tests ensure that the facility is safe to charge nuclear fuel. Before that, the body still needs a government license. According to Stuk, the reason for the vibration is still under way. Stuk explains the following. In Stucco’s Executive Director Petteri Tiippana, the problem is not negligible.
https://www.tekniikkatalous.fi/tekniikka/energia/olkiluoto-3-n-tarkein-putkisto-varahtelee-liikaa-stukin-mukaan-korjaaminen-on-mittava-tyo-6724597

May 16, 2018 Posted by | Finland, safety | Leave a comment

Finland’s nuclear power plant’s price tag – at least $11 billion

Costlier Than Pyramids: Finnish NPP Becomes World’s Second-Priciest Building, Sputnik News
EUROPE 19.03.2018 

The Finnish Olkiluoto-3 nuclear reactor has been touted as the “flagship of European nuclear energy,” but has taken more than a decade to complete and cost the Nordic nation an arm and a leg.

When completed, the third reactor at Finland’s Olkiluoto nuclear power plant will have the distinction of being the world’s second most expensive building, higher than that of a number of luxury hotels, sports arenas, skyscrapers and even pyramids, Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported.

With a breathtaking price tag of €8.5 billion ($11 billion), Olkiluoto-3 is expected to be finished in 2019, 14 years after the start of the construction. For the sake of comparison, the Cheops Pyramid, the largest of the pyramids at Giza, took about 20 years to build. However, construction of the 4,500-year-old pyramid turned to be far more efficient, as it was built over roughly the same period of time and without access to modern technology. Also, its cost in today’s money has been estimated at only €4 billion ($4.9), half the Olkiluoto price tag.

To offer a more modern building for comparison, New York’s replacement One World Trade Center cost an estimated $3.8 billion to build. …….https://sputniknews.com/europe/201803191062679754-finland-npp-price/

 

March 21, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Finland | Leave a comment

Latest in the AREVA nuclear soap opera: Areva to pay Finland’s TVO 450 mln euros

 Le Monde 10th March 2018, [Machine Translation] EPR: epilogue of the Finnish soap opera Areva. The nuclear group will pay hundreds of millions of euros in penalties for the
delay of ten years in the Olkiluoto reactor project.
http://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2018/03/10/epr-areva-en-passe-de-solder-son-lourd-contentieux-finlandais-avec-tvo_5268784_3234.html

Areva to pay Finland’s TVO 450 mln euros over nuclear reactor dispute https://www.reuters.com/article/tvo-areva-olkiluoto-settlement/areva-to-pay-finlands-tvo-450-mln-euros-over-nuclear-reactor-dispute-idUSL8N1QT0N1  Reuters Staff  HELSINKI, March 11 (Reuters) – Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) said on Sunday it had agreed a settlement with French nuclear company Areva and Germany’s Siemens in the long-running dispute over cost overruns and delays on their EPR nuclear reactor project.

Areva-Siemens will pay TVO compensation of 450 million euros ($553.73 million), the Finnish company said in a statement.

TVO and Areva-Siemens were claiming billions of euros from each other due to the delays in the Olkiluoto 3 reactor project in southwest Finland. Its start was postponed last year to May 2019 – a decade later than planned.

$1 = 0.8127 euros Reporting by Tuomas Forsell

March 12, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Finland, France, Legal | Leave a comment

Norway and Finland find tiny amounts of recently released radioactive particles in the air

Barents Observer 26th Feb 2018. Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) says tiny amounts
of radioactive iodine-131 were measured in the air Kotka, east of Helsinki
in late January. The same isotope was then measured again last week north
to Kajaani. The levels were very low, ranging from 0,7 to 1,6
micro-becquerel per cubic meter air, STUK says in a news release

From where the radioactivity is coming is still unknown. Radioactive iodine-131
has a half-life of only eight days so the measurements are proof of a
rather recent release.

The source could be a nuclear reactor, a facility
producing isotopes for medical purposes or by releases from a nuclear
weapons related test. Norway’s Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) on
Monday confirms detection of radioactive iodine also at several of the
country’s air-measurement stations.
https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/ecology/2018/02/traces-radioactive-iodine-air

February 27, 2018 Posted by | environment, Finland | Leave a comment

Russia’s pension funds for elderly – used to pay for building Finland’s nuclear power plant

“Finland’s Pyhäjoki nuclear plant takes our pension money”    While four million elderly Russians live below the poverty line, the country’s pension fund pays for Rosatom-backed nuclear plant in northern-Finland. «Deeply unfair,» says Oleg Bodrov from the closed town of Sosnovy Bor near St. Petersburg.   Barents Observer By  Thomas Nilsen, January 29, 2018

February 2, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Finland, politics, Russia | Leave a comment

Nuclear power plants must be able to withstand fires caused by aircraft impacts

 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180116123750.htm

Date:
January 16, 2018
Source:
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Summary:
Researches examined the transport, evaporation and combustion of liquids in large-scale fire incidents.

In his dissertation, Topi Sikanen, a Master of Science (Technology) and Research Scientist at VTT, examined the transport, evaporation and combustion of liquids in large-scale fire incidents. He developed practical models which will help to predict the consequences for nuclear power plants of fires caused by aircraft impacts.

Analyses of airliner impacts became mandatory after terrorists deliberately crashed two aircraft into the World Trade Center twin towers in New York in 2001.

Nuclear power plants must continuously improve their safety standards. A modern nuclear power plant, for example, must withstand fires caused by aircraft crashing into it. In his dissertation, Topi Sikanen developed methods of modelling unusual and major accidents. The practical outcome of the dissertation was a number of tested, applicable models which help to predict the consequences of fires at nuclear power plants

Sikanen applied the computational tools of fluid dynamics to the fire safety analyses he presented in his three-part dissertation. The first part of the dissertation concerns the conveyance of liquid discharged from fuel tanks in connection with aircraft impacts. In the second part, Sikanen modelled liquid pool fires, the evaporation of liquid, and the heat transfer. In the last part, Sikanen applied the methods that he had developed to the analysis of the impact of aircraft crashing into a nuclear power plant.

The results of the safety and fire safety analyses presented in this dissertation, which falls under construction technology, can be used by the designers and implementers of nuclear power plants and other large buildings.

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Finland, safety | Leave a comment

The troubled and exorbitantly expensive history of the EPR nuclear reactor.

Romandie 9th Jan 2018, [Machine translation] The EPR, the flagship of the French nuclear industry
with many setbacks. Paris – The EPR, to be launched for the first time in China in about six months, is a third-generation nuclear reactor designed to offer improved power and safety, but whose yards have accumulated setbacks in France and elsewhere. Finland.

Launched in 1992, this technology, touted as the flagship of the French nuclear industry, was co-developed by the French company Areva and German Siemens, within their joint venture Areva NP, which Siemens has since withdrawn. EDF has just taken control of this activity as part of the reorganization of the French nuclear industry orchestrated by the State.

The first project was launched in Olkiluoto (Finland) in 2005, on behalf of the TVO electrician, with Areva and Siemens directly prime contractors. But the setbacks and budget slippages have accumulated. TVO lamented an umpteenth delay in the commissioning of the EPR in October, which is now scheduled for May 2019. It was initially scheduled for 2009.

There is a dispute between TVO and Areva and Siemens, with each party blaming the delays on the other.
claiming billions in compensation. The case is under arbitration.

The second EPR, which has been under construction since 2007 in Flamanville (western France) has also accumulated setbacks, mainly due to anomalies discovered on the composition of the steel cover and bottom of the tank. The Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) requires that the tank cover be replaced before the end of 2024. EDF, prime contractor, has postponed the commissioning of the reactor several times. The electrician plans to start the Flamanville EPR at the end of 2018, for commercial commissioning in
2019, when the initial schedule was for 2012.

Its cost has meanwhile more than tripled to 10.5 billion euros. Two other EPRs are under construction in Taishan (China), with a joint venture owned 51% by the Chinese state power company CGN, 30% by EDF and, since 2012, 19% by the electrical utility of
Guangdong province.
https://www.romandie.com/news/878943.rom

January 12, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Finland, France | Leave a comment

Owners and suppliers of Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor – locked in dispute over delayed project

Reuters 14th Nov 2017, Pohjolan Voima Oy (PVO), the largest shareholder in Finland’s
long-delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor, could make additional
compensation claims against suppliers Areva and Siemens following a recent
setback, PVO said on Tuesday.

The start of regular power production at
Olkiluoto 3 – Finland’s largest reactor – was last month postponed by
another five months to May 2019. “It (further compensation) has been
briefly discussed (within PVO). I don’t want to enter further this topic
as it is an issue for (reactor operator) Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) to
decide,” PVO CEO Lauri Virkkunen, told Reuters.

The owners and supplier are locked in a dispute over the plant’s delays at the International
Chamber of Commerce, where TVO is claiming 2.6 billion euros ($3.06
billion) from the Areva-led consortium, which has filed a counter-claim of
3.6 billion euros….

https://www.reuters.com/article/finland-nuclear-olkiluoto-pvo/update-3-owner-of-finnish-nuclear-reactor-may-seek-further-compensation-idUSL8N1NK6OZ

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Finland, Legal | Leave a comment

Areva-Siemens and the Finnish electricity company TVO blame each other for delays in nuclear build

L’Usine Nouvelle 27th Oct 2017[Machine translation] Areva in the quagmire of the Finnish EPR. A further
delay in commissioning the Olkiluoto EPR in Finland is further complicating
the task of Areva SA, the new entity dedicated mainly to the end of the
project.

At this rate, the EPR Flamanville (Channel) will be put into
service before that of Olkiluoto in Finland. On October 9th, the
Areva-Siemens consortium informed the Finnish electrician Teollisuuden
Voima Oyj (TVO) that he was still cutting back the connection to the
reactor network in May 2019. It was initially planned for 2009!

And the penultimate postponement fixed the end of the test period at the end of
2018. After ten years of overtaking and 5 billion euros of additional cost,
the consortium Areva-Siemens and the Finnish electricity company TVO accuse
each other of the delay. The first claims 3.5 billion euros in compensation
to TVO, which continues for 2.6 billion.
https://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/areva-dans-le-bourbier-de-l-epr-finlandais.N604108

October 29, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, Finland | Leave a comment

Still more delay in Finland’s Olkiluoto-3 nuclear power plant

French-backed Finnish nuclear plant delayed again https://www.ft.com/content/99922334-acc8-11e7-aab9-abaa44b1e130  High-profile power station likely to start production more than a decade late 
OCTOBER 9, 2017 by Richard Milne, Nordic Correspondent A high-profile French-backed nuclear power plant in Finland has been delayed yet again, meaning it is likely to start production more than a decade late. Western Europe’s first new nuclear power station for more than two decades will now start production in May 2019 rather than at the end of 2018 as previously announced, according to the Finnish consortium behind the Olkiluoto-3 plant.

Using a similar European pressurised reactor to the one envisaged for the UK’s controversial Hinkley Point plant, the Finnish project — led by French reactor manufacturer Areva — has been regularly beset by delays and huge cost overruns. Olkiluoto-3 was originally meant to start production in spring 2009 and cost €3.2bn but the last price estimate was almost three times as high. “We are very disappointed by this additional delay. There is still substantial work to be accomplished in the project and it is essential that all the necessary technical, human and financial resources are allocated to the project,” said Jouni Silvennoinen, head of the Olkiluoto-3 project at operator TVO.

TVO is particularly concerned about the reorganisation of the French nuclear industry under which utility EDF has taken over the lead role for the development of Hinkley Point. The Finnish nuclear plant operator is worried that France will prioritise another much-delayed project locally in Flamanville over Olkiluoto. “The restructuring of the French nuclear industry must not compromise [that enough resources be directed to Olkiluoto],” Mr Silvennoinen said. TVO took the unusual step last month of complaining to the European Commission that French state aid for Areva was not enough.

Areva, along with its one-time partner Siemens, and TVO have sued each other for billions of euros in a long-running arbitration dispute. The International Chamber of Commerce tribunal made a partial award in TVO’s favour last year but did not specify how much the Finnish group might receive.
The most recent delay is only the latest in a series of problems behind nearly all new nuclear reactors being built in western Europe. Operators complain about a lack of expertise after few reactors were built following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
Another Finnish project, Fennovoima, took the decision to go for Russian nuclear technology as manufacturer Rosatom has continued building power plants. But Fennovoima was forced this year to admit a delay of a year in obtaining its construction licence, an embarrassing setback for a project that had touted its ability to learn from the problems at Olkiluoto-3.
Flamanville is running at least six years late and three times over its original budget while Hinkley Point is under scrutiny both for its elevated and rising cost of £20bn and a guaranteed price for electricity that is well above the current wholesale level. TVO said Areva-Siemens had told it the first connection to the grid at Olkiluoto-3 would take place in December 2018 with the start of regular production forecast for May 2019.

October 11, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, Finland, politics | Leave a comment

Abandoned radioactive generators and other nuclear junk sunk in oceans by Russia

Feisty mayor in Russia’s Far East wants his nuclear trash collected http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2017-09-feisty-mayor-in-russia-far-east-wants-his-nuclear-trash-collected

While lighthouses run on atomic batteries in Russia have become rare, especially along the coasts of the Baltic and Barents Seas, they still have their adherents in the country’s Far East.  by Charles Digges   charles@bellona.no  While lighthouses run on atomic batteries in Russia have become rare, especially along the coasts of the Baltic and Barents Seas, they still have their adherents in the country’s Far East.

A group of radioactivity tracking sleuths on Sakhalin Island in the Pacific say they have hunted down an abandoned generator that ran on strontium-90 sunk off the shores of one of its premier beach resorts.

But that, they say, is just the tip of the iceberg: The discovery lies in the middle of a radioactive graveyard that includes no fewer than 38 sunken vessels containing nuclear waste, and two nuclear warheads that went down when a Soviet bomber crashed near the island’s southern tip in 1976.

Though the Russian Ministry of Defense recently began acknowledging the lost bomber, tracing the origins of the other nuclear cast offs is not so easy.

But at least, says Nikolai Sidirov, mayor of the coastal town of Makarov on Sakhalin’s Bay of Patience, his town knows what this new discovery is – and they want it raised from the depths with the rest of the glowing junk.

Speaking to Novaya Izvestiya, a popular tabloid that morphed out of the official Soviet-era mouthpiece Izvestiya, Sidirov said satellite photos tracking the location of the crashed bomber have turned up something else lurking under the waves: An RTG.

That’s short for Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, a small radioactive energy source that for decades powered thousands of Soviet lighthouses and other navigational beacons along Russia’s Baltic, Arctic and Pacific coasts.

After the fall of the Soviet Union and the crash of the Russian economy, officials lost track of many of the RTGs as bureaucracies collapsed and records went missing. Thieves pillaged them for their valuable metal, exposing their strontium innards. Hikers and shepherds, drawn to their atomic heat, would stagger out of the woods sick with radiation poisoning.

Around Murmansk and on the Pacific coast, frightful reports about strontium elements turning up on beaches proliferated in local media. Some newly independent Soviet republics telegraphed anxieties about their inherited RTGs back to Moscow – along with requests to come take them away.

And then there was the biggest fear of all: What if strontium 90 from these virtually unguarded, remotely radiological sources ended up in the hands of terrorists who wanted to make a dirty bomb?

So far, that hasn’t happened – anybody trying to make off with a strontium battery would likely end up very ill or dead. But when three woodsmen in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia turned up in a hospital with radiation burns and caught the attention of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the dangers of orphaned Soviet RTGs were finally on everyone’s mind.

A colossal effort spearheaded by the Norwegian government entirely rid the coasts of the Barents, Kara and White Seas of more than 180 RTGs. By infusing €20 million into the push, Norway helped Russia replace the strontium 90 batteries on these lighthouses and beacons with solar power over a six year period ending in 2015.

In all, Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, says it has decommission more than 1000 RTGs throughout the country, adding that it has mostly eliminated the hazard of these stray radioactive sources from its coastlines.

But some areas have not been so lucky, at least according to the mayor of Makarov out on Sakhalin Island, six times zones east of Moscow. Sidirov, a feisty campaigner who had been publicly heckling the capital about the nuclear trash in the seas near his town for years, says divers have located the RTG, and that he now has the coordinates of where it lies. He told Novaya Izvestiya he will pass on the RTGs location to what he calls “competent authorities” lest it end up in scheming hands.

How the RTG, which lies in 14 meters of water, came to be there is still anyone’s guess. The Russian Navy sent a statement to the newspaper insisting that all RTGs under the purview of the Pacific Fleet have been hunted down and destroyed.

But Russia’s environmental oversight agency confirmed that there were numerous radioactive foundlings in the oceans off Sakhalin Island, though they didn’t identify Sidirov’s RTG specifically.

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time someone screwed up with an RTG in the area, however. Twenty years ago, in 1997, a helicopter from Russia’s Emergency Services Ministry accidentally dropped a strontium-powered RTG into Sakhalin’s waters. It was later retrieved by the navy.

So far, Rosatom has remained mum on the veracity of Sidirov’s claim about the RTG. But since the history of the downed bomber and the other hazards in his area has been confirmed, there’s every reason to believe him about the RTG. And he wants it gone.

“The ecological authorities and the military, they’re being very stubborn about coming to collect it,” Sidorov told Novaya Izvestiya. “It’s there job to collect it – if they’re ever interested, I’ll be here to show them exactly where it is.”

September 16, 2017 Posted by | Finland, oceans, Reference, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

Finland’s TVO wins partial ruling in nuclear reactor dispute with Areva

Reuters 19 Jul 17 

*Olkiluoto nuclear project almost decade late* Finnish TVO, French Areva claim billions from each other

* Final decision seen coming in early 2018 (Adds comments, detail)

By Jussi Rosendahl and Benjamin Mallet HELSINKI/PARIS, July 20  – Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) said on Thursday it had received another favourable partial decision from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in its long-running dispute with nuclear reactor supplier Areva.

The companies are claiming billions of euros from each other due to years of delays and cost overruns on the Olkiluoto 3 EPR reactor project in southwest Finland.

The new partial ruling addressed preparation, review, submittal, and approval of design and licensing documents on the project…..

The cost of Olkiluoto 3 was initially estimated at 3.2 billion euros ($3.7 billion), but Areva in 2012 estimated the overall cost at closer to 8.5 billion euros……http://www.reuters.com/article/tvo-areva-arbitration-idUSL5N1KB1V4

July 21, 2017 Posted by | Finland, Legal | Leave a comment