Pekkarinen: All nuclear applications to be examined at the same time
TVO estimates price of new reactor to be EUR 3-4 billion
The electricity producer TVO, which runs two of the four commercial nuclear reactors that now operate in Finland, and which is building another one at Olkiluoto, the site of its two esisting installations, opened the competition for a licence for a new nuclear reactor by submitting an application to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy for the construction of a fourth reactor at Olkiluoto.
Minister of Economic Affairs Mauri Pekkarinen (Centre) emphasised immediately that TVO will not be at an advantage in the competition, and that all applications would be examined at the same time from the same starting point.
Another application could come from Fortum, which is considering the possibility of building a third reactor at its Loviisa location, and one will certainly come from Fennovoima, which is examining options in four possible locations for a new nuclear plant. The company's environmental impact assessments remain unfinished, but it has said that it will be able to submit an application in September.
"Applications that are submitted by early next year will also be in time to be processed", Pekkarinen said on Friday.
Fennovoima welcomed Pekkarinen's statement, saying that its position in the competition for a new reactor had been boosted by the minister's assurance that all applications would be handled at the same time.
Once the applications are submitted, security assessments will take about a year. The government is expected to bring the matter before Parliament in the spring of 2010.
In addition to TVO, an application was submitted by Posiva, the company that deals with the disposal of nuclear waste, also submitted an application to the ministry. Posiva proposes that the waste from the new reactor should be placed in underground storage in Eurajoki.
TVO's CEO Pertti Simola said at a press conference that the company is applying for permission for a new reactor with an output of between 1,000 and 1,800 megawatts, depending on the type of installation that is chosen. The company submitted five different types of reactors for consideration by the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK).
TVO estimates costs at EUR 3 or 4 billion. The plant is expected to be ready at about the end of the next decade.
The environmental organisation Greenpeace has urged Finland not to build new nuclear power plants. It notes that the installation currently being built in Olkiluoto is two years behind schedule.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Pekkarinen´s comments on nuclear power take ministry and Fennovoima by surprise (25.4.2008)
Finns reject criticism from French contractor on nuclear plant construction delays (28.2.2008)