Finnish regulator approves licence extensions for Loviisa NPP

31 January 2023

Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK - Säteilyturvakeskus) has approved continued operation of Loviisa NPP units 1&2. STUK informed the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Employment that Fortum Power & Heat Oy has demonstrated that it is able to continue operating both units safely even after the expiry of the current licence period. Fortum has applied for a new operating licence for both units until 2050 and these will be issued by the Ministry on STUK’s recommendation. The current operating licences of will expire in 2027 and 2030.

STUK said Fortum has taken care of the safety of Loviisa 1&2 in accordance with current regulations and has the necessary prerequisites, procedures, expertise and resources to continue to operate them safely. However, managing ageing-related phenomena at the plants requires measures, monitoring and verification to ensure continued safe operation. According to STUK, Fortum has drawn up ageing management plans and selected procedures thatare sufficient to monitor the condition of the plant and to initiate the necessary improvement measures.

The safety of the Loviisa NPP is assessed every 10 years in line with the Nuclear Energy Act and this will be carried out by Fortum and submitted to STUK in 2030.

Fortum has also applied for a new operating licence for the low- and intermediate-level waste disposal facility until 2090 to cover the operation of the power plant and its decommissioning. An extension planned to be built at the disposal facility will store the low and intermediate-level waste generated by the dismantling of the plant.

STUK said Fortum has demonstrated in its application and in its safety assessment that it is possible to continue the final disposal safely within the current scope and plans for the extension will be assessed separately.

The Finnish government is now reviewing Fortum's application and has requested statements from several authorities, organisations and municipalities in the affected area, and had provided citizens and communities with an opportunity to express their opinions.

Image: Loviisa nuclear power plant (courtesy of Fortum)

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