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Wild mushrooms in Finland still containing high radioactive cesium from Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986

Watchdog: Wild mushrooms OK to eat despite lingering Chernobyl radiation, YLE, 16 Jan 19, More than 30 years on, radiation from the Chernobyl disaster remains present in Finnish wild foods.

The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Stuk) says that fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear accident can still be detected in Finnish foods, but that it accounts for less than one percent of the average annual radiation dose for people in Finland.

The city of Helsinki’s urban environment division said on Monday that two samples of funnel chanterelle (or yellow leg) mushrooms it tested contained levels of radioactive caesium that exceeded the recommended maximum.

According to EU guidelines, food products offered for sale should not contain more than 600 becquerels per kilo (Bq/kg) of caesium-137. Mushrooms picked in Pälkäne in Pirkanmaa, south-central Finland had a reading of nearly 1,000 Bq/kg. Meanwhile those picked in Hyvinkää, some 60 km from the capital, contained 1,300 Bq/kg. Wild produce from around the country is widely sold at marketplaces in the capital…… https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/watchdog_wild_mushrooms_ok_to_eat_despite_lingering_chernobyl_radiation/10598680

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January 17, 2019 Posted by | environment, Finland | 2 Comments

Radioactive reindeer in Finland and Norway

Rudolph the radioactive reindeer https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2018/12/16/rudolph-the-radioactive-reindeer/ December 16, 2018

Dosed by Chernobyl and atomic tests, reindeer and their herders are carrying a heavy nuclear burden, By Linda Pentz GunterFallout from Soviet atomic bomb tests over the Arctic Ocean, compounded by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion, have left reindeer too radioactive to eat, even today. That may be good news for the reindeer, sort of. But it’s bad news for the indigenous Laplanders in Finland and Sami herders in Norway, who carry high levels of radiation in their own bodies as well as in the reindeer on which they depend for sustenance and sales.

Reindeer carry heavy radioactive doses, mainly of cesium-137, because they devour lichen, moss and fungi, which bioaccumulate radioactive deposits from fallout. Norway’s radioactive contamination is primarily from Chernobyl, made worse because it was snowing heavily at the time of the April 26 accident. 

The Sami story is beautifully explained in this stunning photo essay by Amos Chapple and Wojtek Grojec for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

As the essay describes it, despite the length of time since the Chernobyl disaster, the fallout is a nasty gift that keeps on giving. “In 2014, there was a huge spike in radiation levels that scientists put down to a bumper season for mushrooms. Hundreds of Norwegian reindeer intended for slaughter had to be released back into the wild.”  Levels apparently shot from 1,500 becquerels per kilogram to 8,200.

A video of Chapple and Grojec’s work, on Tech Insider, also explains the impact of cesium-137 fallout on reindeer and their herders. [0n originall] 

Unfortunately, Norway’s “allowable” radiation standards are far higher than in other parts of Europe, at 3,000 becquerels per kilogram of food compared to the EU standard of 600 becquerels. When Chapple and Grojec were compiling their story, the herd they visited was testing at 2,100 becquerels, passing the Norwegian test for “safe”. The authors say that the higher levels were established by the Norwegian government in “response to radiation levels in reindeer that threatened the very existence of the Sami herders.”

This practice of simply moving the radiation goalposts to make dangerous levels safe still goes on today, of course, most notably in Japan. As was pointed out in an earlier story on our site, the Japanese government, eager to show the world that the Fukushima region could quickly be made safe for habitation, simply raised the “allowable” annual exposure rate from 1 millisievert to 20, an entirely unacceptable dose for most people, especially women and children.

In Finland, most of the persistent radiation levels are due to atomic testing during the Cold War. Measurements continue to be taken among the Lapland reindeer herders where cesium levels are ten times higher than in the rest of Finland. Although cesium levels in humans were a shocking 45,000 becquerels per kilo in the 1960s according to one report, they still hover at over 1,000 today.

The reduction in slaughter of reindeer comes with other side effects as well. As far back as 1997, it was already being observed that the increase in reindeer population, leading to “Over-grazing and trampling, is causing more damage to the fragile tundra than some of the world’s most seriously polluting factories,” wrote Geoffrey Lean in The Independent.

Now, as Russia begins using floating nuclear reactors to plunder the Arctic Ocean for oil, the region has been placed under threat of a radioactive catastrophe again. From both an economic and health perspective, neither the reindeer nor their indigenous herders can afford a second assault.

December 17, 2018 Posted by | environment, Finland, Reference | 1 Comment

Finland’s super-expensive Olkiluoto nuclear project delayed yet again

World Nuclear News 29th Nov 2018, The start of regular electricity generation at the Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) EPR has been pushed back by a further four months and is now expected to begin
in January 2020, Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) announced
today.

Last month, the plant’s supplier – the Areva-Siemens consortium –
announced it wanted to update the schedule for completing the unit as
commissioning tests were taking longer than planned. TVO said it has been
informed by the Areva-Siemens consortium that fuel will now be loaded into
the reactor core in June 2019, with grid connection to take place next
October, and the start of regular electricity generation scheduled for
January 2020.

Under the previous schedule provided by the plant supplier in
June this year, fuel loading was expected in January 2019, grid connection
in May and the start of regular electricity production in September.
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/New-delay-in-start-up-of-Finnish-EPR

December 1, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Finland, politics | 1 Comment

Extreme weather and nuclear power plants

 https://nuclearexhaust.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/extreme-weather-and-nuclear-power-plants/

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289163143_Extreme_weather_and_nuclear_power_plants_EXWE_EXWE_summary_report

see also download at :http://safir2014.vtt.fi/finalseminar/Day_2/TR5_8_4_EXWE_SAFIR2014.pd   fKirsti Jylhä
32.05Finnish Meteorological Institute, Hanna M. Mäkelä, 24.69Finnish Meteorological Institute, Ari Venäläinen
34.18Finnish Meteorological Institute, Milla Johansson, 19.57Finnish Meteorological Institute

“This research comprehensively described the occurrence of extreme weather and climate events and aspects of sea level rise that are relevant from the view point of safety of nuclear power plants.

Studies about the frequency, intensity, and spatial and temporal variation of the extreme weather events and their combinations were carried out utilising instrumental meteorological observations, a 1 200-year long preindustrial control simulation and future climate model simulations.

In addition to the role of natural climate variability, the study clarified the influence of human-induced climate change on extreme weather events and sea level values. The longest future climate and sea level projections extend to the end of the 21st century.

According to them, the daily maximum temperatures and the length of the longest hot spells will clearly increase in Finland. The largest changes, however, are projected for the wintertime minimum temperatures. During summer there will be more intensive precipitation events and during winter more frequent precipitation days. The mean sea level is projected to rise, the change depending on the location along the Finnish coastline. Uncertainty ranges in the mean sea level scenarios are large mainly due to uncertainties in the future behaviour of the continental ice sheets.” end quote. Please see original link above.

November 5, 2018 Posted by | climate change, Finland | Leave a comment

Yet more delays for Finland’s troubled Olkiluoto nuclear power project

Finnish Olkiluoto-3 nuclear unit tests slipping behind schedule: TVO https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/electric-power/100418-finnish-olkiluoto-3-nuclear-unit-tests-slipping-behind-schedule-tvo, Elaine Hiruo –Jonathan Dart

HIGHLIGHTS

New final phase schedule due in December

Too early to say if first power tests delayed

Output schedule ‘available ahead of commercial op’

London — Areva-Siemens is to provide a new schedule in December for the final phases of the 1.6-GW Finnish Olkiluoto-3 nuclear reactor after slippage in its commissioning tests, owner operator TVO confirmed Thursday.

This could potentially push back first delivery of power in tests currently scheduled from May 2019, “but we won’t know this until December,” TVO spokesman Pasi Tuohimaa told S&P Global Platts.

Previously TVO has said test production over a roughly five-month period could account for 10%-15% of Finland’s annual electricity needs ahead of full commercial operation, or 2-4 TWh.

Such is the potential volume at risk that TVO is to put up a schedule of Olkiluoto-3’s production tests six months before commercial operation, Tuohimaa said. He stressed that at this stage it was impossible to assess accurately how much electricity would be produced during testing.

“The completion of the commissioning tests has not been progressing according to the updated schedule for commissioning by the plant supplier Areva-Siemens Consortium,” TVO said in a statement late Wednesday.

The operator could not say whether “rebaselining” of the final phase schedule would affect the current September target for the start of commercial operation at the plant, which is already almost 10 years behind the original schedule and three times over the original Eur3.2 billion budget.

Neither could TVO say whether test production of electricity at varying power levels from May 2019 would be affected by the re-scheduling.

In June 2017, TVO said Olkiluoto-3 would begin commercial operation in September 2019, rather than in May of that year as expected. Hot testing had taken longer than expected, it said.

Q2 2019 Nordic baseload power on the NASDAQ futures exchange traded Thursday 0900 GMT at Eur36.40/MWh, down 30 euro cent from two trades earlier in the European morning.

elaine.hiruo@spglobal.com– jonathan.dart@spglobal.com

 

October 5, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Finland | Leave a comment

Delay at Olkiluoto nuclear project French-German consortium Areva-Siemens unable to complete tests

Nuclear plant delay, YLE  4 Oct 18  Daily Turun Sanomat reports that the start of regular power production at Finland’s biggest nuclear reactor, Olkiluoto 3, may be pushed back yet again.

TVO – the owner of the power plant – said the French-German consortium Areva-Siemens has not been able to complete commissioning tests at the Eurajoki site as planned, the paper says. According to TVO, it is still unclear whether the supplier’s test delays will affect the launch of the plant, which has been scheduled for September 2019.

The project in western Finland has been hit by repeated delays, spiraling costs and legal disputes. The construction of the 1,600 MW reactor began in 2005, and initially it was scheduled to start producing electricity in 2009.

On Tuesday, Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority expressed concerns about the safety culture at energy company Fennovoima, which seeks to build a nuclear power plant in northern Finland. https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/thursdays_papers_bus_driver_walk-out_nuclear_power_plant_delay_and_finns_in_drug_bust/10438247

October 5, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Finland | Leave a comment

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

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