Country profile: Finland

Summary figures for 2015

The following information is from the NEA publication Nuclear Energy Data, the annual compilation of official statistics and country reports on nuclear energy in OECD member countries.

Country
Number of nuclear power plants connected to the grid
Nuclear electricity generation
(net TWh) 2015
Nuclear percentage of total electricity supply
Finland
4
22.4
*
33.8
 
OECD Europe
131
805.0
22.9
 
OECD Total
317
1 878.7
18.4
 
NEA Total
352
2 073.9
18.7
 

* Preliminary data

Country report

Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO), a non-listed public limited company, owns and operates two nuclear power plant units, Olkiluoto 1 and 2, and is building a new unit, Olkiluoto 3 in Eurajoki, Finland.

Olkiluoto 1 and 2 have generated electricity for over 35 years. TVO is preparing for the renewal of the operating licence of power plant units in 2018 by making plant modifications to further improve safety in possible, but unlikely, accident situations, where several safety systems are lost simultaneously.

TVO was granted a construction licence for the Olkiluoto 3 pressurised water reactor (EPR) in February 2005. The reactor's thermal output will be 4 300 megawatts (MW) and electric output will be about 1 600 MW.

Construction of the plant unit started in the summer of 2005 and, by the end of 2015, most of the construction works for the plant unit were completed. The installation of the electrical systems, instrumentation and control system (I&C), and the mechanical systems is still in progress. Factory acceptance testing of the process I&C system was completed, and the system was transferred to Olkiluoto in August 2015. The factory acceptance testing of the safety I&C systems was completed in December. The first phase of the commissioning of the turbine plant has been completed.

Originally, commercial electricity production at the unit was scheduled to start in 2009. According to the schedule updated by the supplier in September 2014, regular electricity production in the unit will commence at the end of 2018. The Olkiluoto 3 plant unit was procured as a fixed-price turnkey project from a consortium formed by Areva GmbH, Areva NP SAS and Siemens AG.

In 2007, Fortum Power and Heat Oy (Fortum) received 20-year operating licences for the two Loviisa pressurised water reactors (PWRs) in operation since 1977 and 1980. Fortum is expecting that both units will have at least a 50-year operational lifetime, extending their service life until the 2030 time frame.

Also in 2007, a new company, Fennovoima Oy, initiated a nuclear new build project. This company was created by a consortium of industrial and energy companies with the aim of constructing a new NPP in Finland that could be operational by 2024.

According to the climate and energy strategy adopted by Finland, nuclear power is an option, but the initiatives must come from industry. As stipulated in the Nuclear Energy Act, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) process must be completed before an application for a decision in principle (DIP) can be submitted to the government. The TVO and Fortum EIA processes (co-ordinated by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, or MEE) were completed in 2008 and the Fennovoima process in 2009.

TVO filed its DIP application for the construction of Olkiluoto 4 in April 2008, Fortum for Loviisa 3 in February 2009 and Fennovoima in January 2009. The national nuclear regulator (Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority – STUK) had no safety-related objections to any of these projects.

The MEE processed all five DIP applications during 2009-2010 and the government made its decisions in May 2010. The applications by TVO and Fennovoima were approved, whereas the application by Fortum was rejected, following the government's policy to limit the number of new power plant units to two and reflecting the fact that Fortum is one of TVO's owners.
TVO's Olkiluoto 4 nuclear power unit project proceeded to the bidding phase. On 25 September 2014, the government rejected TVO's application to extend the validity of the DIP and to set a new deadline to submit the construction licence application. TVO stopped the project in the spring of 2015.

Fennovoima signed a turnkey plant supply contract for the AES-2006-type VVER reactor to Hanhikivi in Pyhäjoki with Rosatom Overseas in December 2013. At the same time, an integrated fuel supply contract with TVEL to cover the first nine operating years was signed, and a shareholders agreement to sell 34% of Fennovoima's shares to Rosatom Overseas was signed.
Because Rosatom was not mentioned as an alternative in Fennovoima's original DIP application, Fennovoima started a new EIA process in autumn 2013 and submitted it in February 2014. It also submitted, in March 2014, a supplement to the DIP which was approved by the government in September 2014 and ratified by the parliament in December 2014. Fennovoima submitted the construction licence application to MEE at the end of June 2015. The government is expected to handle it in early 2018.

In 2004, Posiva Oy started the construction of the Onkalo underground rock characterisation facility for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel from the Olkiluoto and Loviisa plants. The facility consists of a tunnel and three shafts extending to the disposal depth. According to the plans, the ONKALO tunnel and shafts would also be used as access routes to the actual repository. In 2010, the excavation work reached the planned disposal depth, about 420 metres, and the facility was being used for various tests and experiments related to the host rock properties and the planned engineered barrier system. The purpose is to test and demonstrate the feasibility and performance of the repository concept and design by the time of submission of the operating licence application.

In December 2012, Posiva submitted a construction licence application for the disposal facility to the government. The facility would consist of an encapsulation plant and the underground repository. The government granted the construction licence on 12 November 2015. This is the first construction licence in the world granted to a final repository of spent fuel. The facility is planned to come into operation in 2023, but not before Posiva first obtains an operating licence

Source: Nuclear Energy Data 2016

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Last reviewed: 21 December 2016