In a written statement to the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy on 3 May, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) said there is no reason why Finnish company Fennovoima should not be granted a licence for construction of the Hanhikivi-1 NPP at Pyhäjoki in northwest Finland. Hanhikivi-1 will be a 1,200MWe VVER pressurised water reactor of the Russian AES-2006 type. It is scheduled to enter commercial operation in 2024.
In accordance with an agreement between the Nordic countries, the Finnish government asked SSM for its opinion on Fennovoima's planned construction of Hanhikivi-1 in partnership with Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom. "Our overall assessment is that there is no rationale from a Swedish perspective against Fennovoima being granted a licence for construction of the nuclear power plant at Pyhäjoki," said Ann-Christin Hägg, an analyst at SSM. SSM said the design implies "an insignificant risk" of a serious accident and that the defence-in-depth principle will be applied in the "unlikely event" of an emergency situation causing a large external release of radioactivity. "We are also very interested in being involved in the impending consultation procedure for final disposal of radioactive waste, including used nuclear fuel, from the facility," she said.
In April, Finnish Minister for Economic Affairs Olli Rehn urged Fennovoima and power company Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) to come to an agreement over the disposal of radioactive waste from Hanhikivi at the Onkla repository at Olkiluoto, built by TVO and power utility Fortum to service their respective NPPs at Olkiluoto and Loviisa. Fennovoima has until June to develop a plan for its waste. Rehn said, "From the point of view of a society the size of Finland, the best option is that forces are joined in the final location for the nuclear waste."
Meanwhile, Russia's Titan-2 and Rolls-Royce of the UK have reached an agreement on the first phase design of safety instrumentation and control systems for Hanhikivi. Fennovoima said the agreement is important "because the documentation delivered can be utilised in moving towards the actual design phase of individual I&C systems". According to the agreement, Rolls-Royce will design the architecture and deliver its documentation to Fennovoima during this year. A 34% stake in Fennovoima is held by RAOS Voima Oy, the Finnish subsidiary set up in 2014 by Rosatom for the purpose of buying a share in the company. Titan-2 is the main contractor for the Hanhikivi project.