Progress continues at Finland’s Hanhikivi NPP

27 October 2015

Russia's Titan-2, the main construction contractor for the Hanhikivi-1 NPP project in Finland, has signed a contract with Finland's Wasa Dredging Oy for dredging the harbour basin at Hanhikivi headland in the Baltic Sea, according to project owner Fennovoima. The contract covers removal of soil and transportation of the dredging masses to the marine spoil area. The work will begin before the end of October and last 4-5 weeks. A separate contract for related works, including dredging of a 1.8km navigation channel from the sea to the plant site, construction of the harbour area and cooling water intake structures, will be awarded next spring, Fennovoima said. Hanhikivi-1, a 1,200MWe VVER AES-2006 pressurised water reactor to be built at Pyhäjoki in northwest Finland, is scheduled to enter commercial operation in 2024. Fennovoima plans to start building Hanhikivi-1 in 2018.

Earlier in October, the 4km access road to the NPP was completed by subcontractor Suomen Maastorakentajat Oy, Fennovoima said. The road, which cost €5m ($5.6m), is the first subcontract to be finished on the Hanhikivi peninsula. In addition to the road, the work included lighting and embankment landscaping. Construction work was finished according to the original schedule and the road formally handed over to Fennovoima on 15 October.

The first chapters of a safety analysis report on the Hanhikivi project will be submitted to the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) by the end of this year, according to Sergey Onufrienko, director general of Atomproekt, chief architect of the plant. The report will be completed by March 2016. Meanwhile, the engineering design is being developed, for submission to Fennovoima by the end of 2016. "It can't be said that the project is easy," Onufrienko noted. The main difficulty is the great number of additional requirements demanded by STUK, which "exceed Russian requirements and need to be considered", he said. In particular, these include accounting for external impacts and additional requirements for redundancy of safety systems.

"Of course, all these do not facilitate any reduction in the cost of project and lead to its somewhat complication, expansion," Onufrienko said. However, he noted that the Hanhikivi project will not be more expensive than contractual commitments but it will be more expensive than the Leningrad II NPP, which is the reference plant.

Meanwhile, Finnish auditors have returned a positive assessment of the quality management system at ZIO-Podolsk, part of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom's Engineering division, Atomenergomash, which will manufacture the plant's equipment. The company successfully passed a preliminary audit of its quality management system (QMS), which was carried out STUK and auditors from Fennovoima. Representatives of Fennovoima also reported a good level of openness and effective cooperation during the audit and made recommendations for further improvement of the QMS.

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