Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Nuclear Country Notes
Four nuclear reactors were brought into operation between 1977 and 1980: two 488 MWe WWERs at Loviisa, east of Helsinki, and two 840 MWe BWRs at Olkiluoto. In 2005 the four units accounted for virtually a third of Finland's electricity output.
An application for a Decision-in-Principle (DiP) on a fifth NPP unit was filed in November 2000 by the nuclear power company Teollisuuden Voima (TVO). In May 2002 the Finnish Parliament ratified the Government's earlier favourable DiP and TVO was then authorised to continue preparations for the construction of a new NPP.
In October 2003, TVO announced that its preferred site for the fifth nuclear station was at Olkiluoto, 250 km north-west of Helsinki. A construction contract was signed with a consortium of Framatome (now AREVA NP) and Siemens in December of the same year. In January 2004 TVO submitted its construction licence application for the OL3 reactor unit on the Olkiluoto NPP site in the municipality of Eurajoki. In February 2005, the Government granted the licence for constructing the OL3 unit. The new nuclear power unit of 1 600 MWe (net) is expected to be in commercial use in 2010.
The current operating licences of Loviisa 1 & 2 and Olkiluoto 1 & 2 are valid up to the end of 2007 and 2018, respectively. For the Loviisa units the operating licence renewal application was submitted to the authorities for regulatory review in autumn 2006. For the Olkiluoto units the utility must submit to the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) by the end of 2008 a comprehensive periodic safety review report, after which STUK will make its own safety assessment.
In April 2007 Fortum and TVO, the owners of the Finnish NPPs, were embarking on environmental impact assessments for new nuclear power units at the Loviisa and Olkiluoto sites respectively, preparatory to possible applications to construct new plants. In a separate development, the German utility E.ON was reported to be purchasing land for a possible NPP site in the vicinity of Loviisa.
After the start of commercial operation, all Finnish reactor units have continuously had very high annual load factors. The production-weighted average load factor has been above or very close to 90% since 1983. Besides success in efforts to maintain high reliability of key operational and safety systems, the short refuelling and maintenance shutdowns have significantly contributed to the high performance figures.