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Finland: no plans for new nuclear , and Fennovoima project hampered by the Ukraine crisis

Nuclear energy gains support, but current producers plan no new reactors, Finland: Finland’s nuclear power producers do not plan to build more reactors, although support for nuclear is at record levels. Meanwhile plans for an entirely new plant could be hampered by the Ukraine crisis.YLE NEWS, 16 Jan 22,

Finland’s current nuclear power producers have no plans to build more reactors, even though support for nuclear energy is at higher than at any time in the past three decades.

Teollisuuden Voima (TVO), which operates the Olkiluoto power plant in Eurajoki, southwest Finland, is concentrating on powering up its long-awaited third reactor (OL3), which was started up on 21 December. The company has abandoned plans for a fourth reactor at the site after extensive cost overruns and delays with the OL3 project, which was to have been completed in 2009.

Majority-state-owned Fortum, meanwhile, is looking toward a possible decision to extend the life of its two reactors in Loviisa, southeast Finland.

The operating licences for the Loviisa units will expire in 2027 and 2030. But if Fortum applies for and obtains a continuing license, the reactors, completed in 1978 and 1980 with Soviet technology, could be operational until the late 2040s.

On Friday the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment gave a preliminary green light to extending the licenses by up to 20 years…………. A final decision could come later this year, pending consideration by the Environment Ministry and other official bodies.

………… However nuclear remained less popular than many other forms of energy, including solar power, which 87 percent said should be used more. That was followed by wind power (81 percent), hydroelectric (52 percent) and wood and other biofuel (52 percent).

The ET survey of 1,000 adults in Finland was carried out in October by IROResearch, which estimated the margin of error at 3.2 percentage points.

Ukraine crisis could affect Fennovoima project

Meanwhile plans to build Finland’s first entirely new nuclear power plant on the west coast remain up in the air. The Fennovoima consortium, which includes Fortum, hopes to build the plant on the Hanhikivi peninsula in Pyhäjoki as a turnkey delivery supplied by the Russian state-owned Rosatom Group. The plant has not been granted a construction license.

It was originally to have begun operations in 2020, but last year the company has set a target date of 2029 for commercial operations.

The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Stuk) said in August that Fennovoima had not yet handed over all of the requested documentation to proceed with an evaluation of its preliminary safety report.

“No actual plans have been presented to Stuk regarding the safety arrangements for the power plant itself and its operating environment,” it said in late August, adding that there had been “little progress” in the project’s construction readiness.

On Friday the business daily Kauppalehti reported that the Ukraine crisis could further complicate the Fennovoima venture. It noted that the plant’s reactor pressure vessel is to be manufactured in eastern Ukraine, 40-50km from a combat zone.

Fighting in the area could make it impossible for Stuk to carry out required inspection visits to the factory site. The plant is partly owned by Rosatom, which could be hit by western sanctions if Russia attacks Ukraine……. https://yle.fi/news/3-12272789

January 17, 2022 Posted by | Finland, politics | Leave a comment

Finland’s underground nuclear waste facility in construction, seeks licence

On 30 December 2021, Posiva Oy submitted to the Government an operating
licence application referred to in the Nuclear Energy Act for an
encapsulation plant and a disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel.

The facility is currently under construction in Olkiluoto, Eurajoki. Posiva has
been preparing for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel for more than 40
years. Its encapsulation plant is located above ground, and the fuel
repository of underground disposal facility is located in the bedrock at a
depth of approximately 400-430 metres.

Posiva is applying for an operatinglicence for a period from March 2024 to the end of 2070. According to theapplication, most of the spent nuclear fuel of Posiva’s owners, i.e.
Teollisuuden Voima Oyj’s Olkiluoto nuclear power plant and Fortum Power
and Heat Oy’s Loviisa nuclear power plant would be disposed of in
Posiva’s facility between 2024 and 2070. The disposal of all the spent
nuclear fuel of the Posiva owners is expected to be completed until the
late 2120s according to the present nuclear power operation plans.

 Ministry of Economic Affairs 30th Dec 2021

https://tem.fi/en/posivas-operating-licence

January 1, 2022 Posted by | Finland, wastes | Leave a comment

The design fault in the Taishan nuclear reactor could affect other EPR reactors, including Finland’s Olkiluoto station.

 Finnish Nuclear Safety Authority STUK has given its approval to start the
reaction nuclear and low power tests for the EPR OL3 reactor built with a
lot of difficulties by the Areva Siemens consortium in Olkiluoto.

The start took place on Tuesday 21 December 12 years behind the initial project and
with a budget multiplied by 3. The serious malfunctions that affected the
Taishan 1 EPR reactor in China show that this technology is not developed.

Information transmitted to CRIIRAD by a whistleblower indicate that the
nuclear fuel assemblies for the Taishan 1 reactor were severely damaged
during the second irradiation cycle. This situation is probably related to
a fault in design that is reasonably expected to affect other RPEs.

 CRIIRAD 22nd Dec 2021

December 24, 2021 Posted by | Finland, safety | Leave a comment

Finland’s Olkiluoto EPR nuclear reactor starting up, 12 years late

 Nuclear: start-up of the Finnish EPR 12 years late. The EPR nuclear
reactor in Olkiluoto, Finland, started up overnight for the first time.
Between delays and financial problems, the work started in 2005 was strewn
with pitfalls for the French Areva. The EPR must supply 15% of the
consumption of the Nordic country.

 Les Echos 21st Dec 2021

https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/energie-environnement/nucleaire-demarrage-de-lepr-finlandais-avec-12-ans-de-retard-1374027

December 24, 2021 Posted by | Finland, politics | Leave a comment

Finland’s Olkiluoto nuclear plant to power up 12 years late

Finland’s Olkiluoto nuclear plant to power up 12 years late news 24 17 Dec 21, Finland’s long-delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor will begin powering up this month and start producing electricity in January next year, the plant’s operator announced on Thursday………………

the French-developed EPR reactor model, touted as offering higher power and better safety, has been plagued by delays and cost overruns, leading to bitter compensation disputes between TVO and Areva.

Other EPR builds in France and the UK have also been beset with delays, with Hinkley Point in southwest England pushing back its planned electricity production by half a year to mid-2026.

Costs have swelled by around 500 million ($705 million, 580 million euros) to as much as 23 billion. https://www.news24.com/fin24/International/finlands-olkiluoto-nuclear-plant-to-power-up-12-years-late-20211217

December 17, 2021 Posted by | Finland, politics | Leave a comment

Finland’s nuclear power project collapsing – unprofitable and unnecessary

 Doubts about nuclear power plant construction in Finland. The planned Hanhikivi nuclear power plant could be on the verge of collapse.

It is unclear whether there will be any need for the plant’s electricity at all.

The costs are running away, the schedule for the start of construction and commissioning has been revised and postponed several times. The planning documents are so inadequate that the project is not yet ready for approval even after a six-year approval process.

And most of the independent analyzes assume that the project can neither become profitable nor that
there is even a need for what is to be produced here. It recently revealed that there is also a huge funding gap, and now the military is raising concerns about national security.

 Taz 18th Nov 2021

https://taz.de/Russische-Firma-plant-Reaktor/!5812508/

November 20, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Finland, politics | Leave a comment

Finland’s Greens remain anti-nuclear, despite antics of a breakaway group

‘Which greens, there’s two? One carrying the original Green message, of the 1970s, egalitarian, social democracy, adopted by all other European countries.Green League – The Greens” Known throughout Europe, as the European Greens• Finnish: Vihreä liitto• Swedish: Gröna förbundet

 Paul RichardsNuclear Fuel Cycle Watch Australia, 11 Nov 21, Finland greens are reported to have switched to pro-nuclear power

The other, pro-nuclear group, broke away, branding itself green. Much like the Liberal Party, in Australia, who are hard-right, neocon and neoliberal.Liberal by brand, conservative by demonstrated values. A long con, that thoroughly confuses the Republican idiocracy in the US. A group, who think liberals are, communists.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052

November 11, 2021 Posted by | Finland, politics | Leave a comment

Finland’s Greens turn a lovely shade of nuclear yellow, as they back nuclear power as ”sustainable”

Finland lobbies nuclear energy as a sustainable source https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/finland-lobbies-nuclear-energy-as-a-sustainable-source/ By Pekka Vanttinen | EURACTIV.com, 11 Oct 2021

Following a previously secret decision, the Finnish government will lobby the European Union to declare nuclear power as a sustainable energy source.

Wind and solar have been approved as sustainable by the EU, but decisions on gas and nuclear have so far not been made. Even if plants are emission-free, nuclear is currently considered only a low-carbon energy source due to emissions caused by mining and transport.

Finland has four nuclear plants, and the fifth is nearing completion after years of postponements because of technical complexities. The future of nuclear energy remains important for the country. Its industry is highly energy-intensive, and Finland has a target of being carbon neutral by 2035. Currently, 30% of Finland’s energy is produced by nuclear energy.

As reported by the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE), the government’s alignment to lobby nuclear as a sustainable source marks a near U-turn within the Green Party sitting in the current five-party cabinet. Traditionally the party has been fiercely anti-nuclear and has resigned from previous governments over the issue. Its views have become more pragmatic, and the Greens now claim to have a technology-neutral attitude when it comes to fighting climate change.

October 12, 2021 Posted by | climate change, Finland, politics international | 1 Comment

Finland lobbied EU to declare nuclear power sustainable after unpublished cabinet decision.

Finland lobbied EU to declare nuclear power sustainable after unpublished cabinet decision supported by Greens, Uutiset, 9 Oct 21,

The EU Commission decides this autumn if nuclear power will be classified as sustainable.

Finland’s government has agreed to lobby the EU to declare nuclear power a sustainable energy source, but kept the decision secret.

If nuclear power gets the so-called ‘green label’, financing for nuclear projects will be easier to come by and the terms of any loans will be softer than for other energy projects…..

Finland’s decision was reached at a meeting of ministers on 9 July, but not announced publicly. Yle’s sources say that parliament’s Grand Committee, which sets the parameters of Finland’s EU policy, has not been informed of the change.

Yle requested the memo from the meeting, which was provided after publishing a report on the decision on Thursday.

Finance Minister Annika Saarikko (Cen) said that she did not see a reason to keep Finland’s view on nuclear power secret, and that the decision was reached in order to influence the EU decision-making process.

The EU has already granted solar and wind power projects the green ‘sustainable’ stamp of approval, but postponed decisions on gas and nuclear…..

Greens emphasise that there are still different views on nuclear within the party, but it has now adopted a ‘technology neutral’ stance on fighting climate change, according to Yle’s sources…..

On Thursday Iltalehti reported that Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) raised the matter of nuclear policy with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Helsinki on Monday  https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/finland_lobbied_eu_to_declare_nuclear_power_sustainable_after_unpublished_cabinet_decision_supported_by_greens/12135621

October 9, 2021 Posted by | climate change, Finland, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Ho hum … the umpteenth delay for Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor

Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor faces another delayBy Nora Buli   OSLO, Aug 23 (Reuters) – The start of Finland’s much-delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor has been pushed back by a further three months, with full power production now scheduled for June 2022, operator TVO said in a statement late on Friday.

“Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has received additional information from the plant supplier Areva-Siemens consortium that the regular electricity production of the OL3 EPR plant unit will be further postponed for three months due to extended turbine overhaul and inspection works,” TVO said.

Olkiluoto 3 was meant to be finished in 2009 but the project has been beset by a series of setbacks……. https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/finlands-olkiluoto-3-nuclear-reactor-faces-another-delay-2021-08-23/

August 24, 2021 Posted by | Finland, politics | Leave a comment

Further delay, more costs, for Finland’s nuclear power station, Fennovoima

Helsinki Times 4th May 2021, THE NUCLEAR POWER PROJECT of Fennovoima in Pyhäjoki, North Ostrobothnia,
is set to be delayed further, writes YLE. The Finnish consortium of power
and industrial companies stated last week that its effort to ensure the
design and licencing materials meet the Finnish standards has taken longer
than expected, predicting that a building permit for the plant could be
secured by mid-2022 instead of 2021.

The construction would therefore start
in the summer of 2023 and the plant start commercial operation in 2029. The
timetable is set forth in a supplement attached last week to the building
permit application the consortium filed with the Ministry of Employment and
the Economy in 2015. Fennovoima, the supplement reveals, has also raised
its cost estimate for the project from 6.5–7.0 to 7.0–7.5 billion
euros, citing its own operational and administrative costs.

https://www.helsinkitimes.fi/finland/finland-news/domestic/19161-finnish-nuclear-power-project-to-be-delayed-further.html

May 6, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Finland | Leave a comment

Delays, increased costs and geopolitical uncertainties throw doubt on construction of nuclear power station in Finland.

Nuclear power plant construction in north Finland faces delay, increased costs and geopolitical uncertainties

Costs for the partly Russian-owned controversial plant will be €1 billion more than previously estimated. Barents Observer,    By Thomas Nilsen , April 29, 2021

“Further deterioration of political and commercial relations between the EU, the USA and Russia could lead to more sanctions between the parties. Such deteriorated international affairs and sanctions could influence the project’s schedule and financing, in particular,” Fennovoima writes in its updated construction license application to Finnish authorities on Wednesday. 

Work on the site in Pyhäjoki south of Oulu is in full swing despite final permission for the reactor itself at Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant is not yet granted.

The original application was delivered in 2015, but as Fennovoima sees “changes in boundary conditions,” an updated application was made. Among other things, the application includes an additional survey on the power plant’s impact on the marine environment and fishery during operation.

Other changes are related to security and preparedness arrangements and design solutions, although, no changes to the key principles of the power plant, Fennovoima underlines…….

Russia’s state-owned nuclear corporation holds a 34% stake in the plant. For Moscow, export of civilian nuclear power reactors is both a commercial revenue and a source of symbolic technology pride.

Last week, government officials in the Czech Republic said they were kicking Rosatom out of the play for bidding at a planned new reactor for the Dukovany nuclear power plant. The move came amid the diplomatic turmoil between Prague and Moscow following a 2014 blast in a weapons storage which Czech intelligence blames Russian military spies for being involved.

Like with the Czech nuclear power plant, also Fennovoima’s Hanhikivi 1 reactor is planned to receive uranium fuel supplies from Russia……..  https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/nuclear-safety/2021/04/construction-nuclear-power-plant-runs-delay-costs-increase-and-geopolitical#.YIp3J6ITqk0.twitter

May 1, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Finland, politics international | Leave a comment

84% of Finland’s population support signing up to the U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

It is time to end our reliance on nuclear weapons Nuclear non-proliferation is a fundamentally European issue which is not yet part of any EU agenda   https://ecfr.eu/article/it-is-time-to-end-our-reliance-on-nuclear-weapons/, Erkki Tuomioja, View from the Council 2 November 2020,    Finland did not participate in the negotiations leading up to the treaty, and it did not vote for it. Public opinion is, however, in favour of the treaty, with one poll showing that 84 per cent of Finns would support signing up. Three parties in Finland’s coalition government also want the country to join. Foreign ministry officials have argued in hearings of the Finnish parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee that joining would weaken the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – a faulty reasoning that the Committee unanimously rejected.

It is worth quoting at length the statement published on 21 September this year by 56 former leaders and foreign or defence ministers of NATO and US ally countries, including two former NATO secretaries-general:

“The prohibition treaty is an important reinforcement to the half-century-old Non-Proliferation Treaty, which, though remarkably successful in curbing the spread of nuclear weapons to more countries, has failed to establish a universal taboo against the possession of nuclear weapons. The five nuclear-armed nations that had nuclear weapons at the time of the NPT’s negotiation — the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China — apparently view it as a licence to retain their nuclear forces in perpetuity.  Instead of disarming, they are investing heavily in upgrades to their arsenals, with plans to retain them for many decades to come. This is patently unacceptable.”

It is precisely the frustration at the lack of progress with nuclear disarmament – to which the nuclear weapons states committed themselves in the grand bargain to get the non-nuclear countries to accept the NPT treaty signed in 1968 – that gave decisive impetus to the prohibition treaty. Obviously, without the participation of the nuclear weapons states, not one nuclear weapon will be dismantled. But without pressure from the non-nuclear weapons states in the form of this treaty, neither will they engage in serious efforts at disarmament. Nuclear weapons states will instead continue the present trend of modernising existing and developing new nuclear weapons systems.

Support in NATO countries for doing away with all weapons of mass destruction is growing, as evidenced by the signatories to the statement above. This is important because one argument made in Finland and Sweden, although it is rarely made in public, for opposing joining the prohibition treaty is the displeasure the US would show at such a step, which could hinder the deepening of these countries’ partnership relations with NATO. Given the growing demand in non-nuclear NATO countries to sign the treaty this is just as spurious as the NPT argument against joining.

The time has come for all states in the world to bring an end to the misguided, illegitimate, and immoral reliance on nuclear weapons. An all-out nuclear war is a threat to human life as a whole and would immediately bring about all the disasters we are trying to avoid with our efforts to curtail climate change and implement the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030.

No responsible leader disputes this. Yet we continue to conduct exercises in preparation for a nuclear war. The risk of accidental or miscalculated nuclear weapon use may today be even greater than at the height of the cold war. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is, as the statement quoted says, “a beacon of hope in a time of darkness”.

There is one nuclear weapons state in the EU (formerly two) and 21 EU member states in NATO, but nuclear weapons and related issues have never formed part of the EU’s agenda. This is a fundamentally European issue, given the likelihood that Europe would face the greatest level of destruction in the event of a conflict and because of the European preference for achieving change through rules-based processes. All EU member states should address it and join the treaty banning all nuclear weapons. Three member states in the EU have already done so; others should follow them.

Erkki Tuomioja is ECFR member and former Minister for Foreign Affairs in Finland.

November 3, 2020 Posted by | Finland, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Finland, stuck with increasingly costly Olkiluouti nuclear nightmare, plans and even worse expense, with small nucler reactors!

Taz 26th Oct 2020, The European pressurized water reactor Olkiluoto 3 has long since developed into a Finnish BER – at least twelve years too late, three times as expensive as planned. And it’s far from being online. The same goes for the
new Hanhikivi project: years behind before construction began .

But the Finnish nuclear lobby is already planning another nuclear energy adventure: the construction of so-called Small Modular Reactors (SMR). Paul Dorfman of the UK UCL Energy Institute and co-author of an SMR study by the Nuclear
Consulting Group estimates that small reactors would provide increasingly expensive energy due to the cost of materials and personnel : the massive investments that would be required to create a supply chain so that replacing the economies of scale of large reactors with the advantage of series production would make the investment risk for SMR even higher than for standard reactors.

https://taz.de/AKWs-vom-Fliessband/!5720692/

October 29, 2020 Posted by | Finland, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Finland’s new nuclear reactor hit by valve leak

May 26, 2020 Posted by | Finland, incidents | Leave a comment