Finland, Russia Delay Planned Joint Nuclear Project

A plan for a proposed Finnish-Russian joint project for a nuclear reactor in western Finland has been postponed by four years to 2028 as more time is needed to secure the project’s licenses, Reuters reports.

“The goal is to receive the construction license and to start the construction of the plant in 2021. Accordingly, the commercial operation of the plant would begin in 2028,” the consortium behind the project, Fennovoima, said in a statement.

Fennovoima’s problems in submitting documents to the Finnish nuclear safety authority have forced the delay, Reuters wrote.

The involvement of Russian state nuclear company Rosatom in the consortium has raised concerns in Finland about Russia’s influence in the country.

The Finnish parliament, however, approved the project to build the 1.2-gigawatt reactor, which is expected to cost $7.5 billion to $8 billion, to boost domestic energy production.

The consortium also includes Finnish power company Fortum and stainless steel maker Outokumpu, among other companies.

In December 2013 Rosatom representatives and Finnish partners signed a pack of documents concerning the building of a single-unit Hanhikivi-1 nuclear power plant with a VVER-1200 reactor. The plant is to be located near the village of Pyhajoki in Northwest Finland. Hanhikivi-1 construction is managed by JSC Rusatom Energy International (former name of JSC Rusatom Overseas). Its subsidiary, RAOS Project Oy, is the principal project contractor.

A Finnish project to build another nuclear power plant in Finland, Olkiluoto 3, is already more than a decade behind schedule and may face further postponements, plant operator Teollisuuden Voima said in October.