Government decision on two new nuclear power plant units
On 6 May 2010, the Finnish Government made two decisions-in-principle in favour of additional construction of nuclear power. Teollisuuden Voima Oyj’s application for constructing a new nuclear power plant unit, Olkiluoto 4, in Eurajoki, and Fennovoima Oy’s application for constructing a new nuclear power plant in Simo or Pyhäjoki were both approved.
– The Government’s decisions will see Finland make a dramatic shift in an emission-free direction, while ensuring the nation’s self-sufficiency in electricity production for the first time in several decades. The increase in renewable energy, particularly in heat generation and transport, will contribute further towards the goal of being emission-free, commented Mauri Pekkarinen, Minister of Economic Affairs.
– Together, these decisions by the Government will act as the driving force for huge investments in future, totalling several dozens of billions in euros. In the current economic situation this constitutes an extremely strong positive signal to industry, encouraging it to invest in Finland's future with confidence, said Minister Pekkarinen.
In the same context, the Government made a decision-in-principle in favour of Posiva’s application for constructing an extended final disposal repository for spent nuclear fuel generated in Finland. This extension will ensure the management of spent nuclear fuel arising from TVO’s project.
The Government gave a negative decision-in-principle on Fortum’s application for constructing a new nuclear power plant unit, Loviisa 3. Correspondingly, a negative decision was made on Posiva’s application for the management of spent fuel from Fortum’s project.
Pursuant to the Nuclear Energy Act, the Government found that the additional construction of nuclear power is in line with the overall good of society. However, the Government voted on the positive decisions-in-principle as follows (for/against):
– Application by TVO Oyj: 15-2
– Application by Posiva (spent nuclear fuel from TVO): 14-2
– Application by Fennovoima Oy: 14-2
The entry into force of each positive decision-in-principle is subject to separate approval by Parliament. If Parliament decides to approve the decisions-in-principle, they will remain in force for five years thereafter. These decisions will lapse if the company in question does not submit an application for a construction licence, in accordance with the Nuclear Energy Act. The Government will handle potential applications for a construction licence separately, in due course.
Additional construction of nuclear power forms one aspect of the energy policy definitions in line with the Government’s climate and energy strategy. Other policies resulting in a low-emission, energy self-sufficient and competitive Finland include increasing the use of renewable energy, and enhancing energy conservation and energy efficiency.
Minister of Economic Affairs Mauri Pekkarinen, tel. +358 (0)10 606 3500
Jyrki Peisa, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 (0)50 364 0836
Taisto Turunen, Director General, MEE, tel. +358 (0)10 606 4700
Jorma Aurela, Senior Engineer, MEE, tel. +358 (0)50 592 2109