Finnish regulator approves periodic safety review for Loviisa NPP

3 May 2022

The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) has issued its decision on Fortum Power and Heat Oy's periodic safety review of the Loviisa NPP submitted in 2020, Fortum said on 29 April.

In its decision STUK states that Fortum has ensured the safety of Loviisa units 1 and 2 in accordance with the effective provisions, for the parts that are applicable to operating facilities. The licensee has the required capabilities, procedures, competence and resources to continue safe operations through the end of the current operating licence. In December 2021 STUK also issued its decision on the periodic safety review of the final disposal facility for Loviisa NPP's low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste.

Fortum said the goal over the course of Loviisa’s operating history has been to ensure the continuous improvement of plant safety. “Fortum has updated and renovated the plant significantly and implemented extensive modifications of its components, systems and structures in order to replace aging plant components and to improve safety,” it said. “Fortum also has the necessary action plans to continue development of the plant to ensure safe operation of the Loviisa nuclear power plant until the expiry of the operating licence.”

STUK’s decision relates to the valid operating licences of the Loviisa   plant. The valid operating licence for unit 1 expires in 2027 and for unit 2 in 2030. Fortum has also applied for an extension of these operating licences and STUK will issue a separate opinion on this later.

STUK said Fortum's safety assessment is comprehensive. The assessment shows that the safety of the facilities has been ensured and that their use can be continued. STUKnoted that, based on the data submitted in connection with the periodic safety assessment, “Fortum has undertaken to continue working to improve the safety of the plant as required by the Nuclear Energy Act”.

The Nuclear Safety Advisory Board (YTN) agreed with STUK’s decision. YTN is an advisory board composed of experts in the field appointed by the Government to consider matters preparatory to the safety of the use of nuclear energy. In its statement, YTN said STUK handled the safety assessment material provided by Fortum expertly and carefully in accordance with the requirements of the regulations on nuclear and radiation safety. 

Fortum plans to continue operating Loviisa and has applied to the Government for a licence to operate the plant until the end of 2050.,It has also applied for a permit until the end of 2090 for the buildings and storage facilities necessary for the management of nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. The licence applications were submitted by Fortum on 18 March.

Image: Loviisa nuclear power plant (Credit: Fortum)

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