Country profile: Finland

Summary figures for 2014

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.

Number of nuclear power plants connected to the grid
Nuclear electricity generation
(net TWh) 2014
Nuclear percentage of total electricity supply
OECD Europe
1 888.0

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.

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

Construction of the plant unit started in the summer of 2005 and by the end of 2014 the civil construction works of the plant unit had been mainly completed. Cladding works of the buildings' exterior walls were also nearly completed. The major components of the reactor plant have been installed, and the primary coolant circuit pipeline had been welded. Pipeline welding works in the emergency power generating building continued. The commissioning phase of building technology systems in the reactor plant was ongoing. Containment pressure and leak-tightness tests were completed in February 2014. Testing of the instrumentation and control system in the test bay in Erlangen, Germany continued, as did planning and licensing of the instrumentation and control system. The first phase of the turbine plant commissioning was ongoing.

In September 2014, TVO received additional data about the schedule for the Olkiluoto 3 project from the supplier. According to this data, the unit would begin regular electricity production in late 2018. The supplier is constructing the reactor under the terms of a fixed-price, turnkey contract and is responsible for the time schedule. Originally, commercial electricity production at the unit was scheduled to start in 2009.

In July 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 timeframe.

In June 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 German company E.ON holding a 34% share) in order to construct a new NPP in Finland that could be operational by 2020.

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 (STUK) had no safety-related objections to any of these projects. Fennovoima's listed candidate sites (Simo and Pyhäjoki) stated in 2009, as per the request of MEE, that they are willing to host Fennovoima's plant.

Posiva Oy, the organisation established by TVO and Fortum to manage disposal of spent fuel from the Loviisa and Olkiluoto power plants, also filed two DIP applications for enlargement of the ONKALO final repository to accommodate spent fuel from the proposed new reactors (Olkiluoto 4 and Loviisa 3).

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 on the fact that Fortum is one of TVO's owners. Posiva's application concerning the disposal of spent fuel from the planned Olkiluoto 4 was approved, but a similar application concerning spent fuel from the planned Loviisa 3 was rejected.

TVO's Olkiluoto 4 nuclear power unit project proceeded to the bidding phase. According to the DIP, the deadline for submission of the construction licence application will expire on 30 June 2015. 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.

In February 2013, E.ON's 34% stake in Fennovoima was sold to the Finnish majority owner Voimaosakeyhtiö SF. In December 2013, Fennovoima signed a turnkey plant supply contract for the AES-2006-type VVER reactor to Hanhikivi in Pyhäjoki with Rosatom Overseas. 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 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 on 18 September 2014 and ratified by Parliament on 5 December 2014. Fennovoima provided a safety evaluation of the AES-2006 plant to the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) for a safety assessment. A preliminary safety assessment of the plant design was completed and in May 2014 STUK stated that the AES-2006 can be designed and constructed in accordance with the Finnish safety requirements.

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 review of the application is now close to completion and the government's decision is expected in early 2015. At the moment Posiva is busy finalising the design of both the surface facility and the underground repository to make it possible to start construction work in 2016.

Source: Nuclear Energy Data 2015

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Last reviewed: 21 October 2015