Dredging and marine construction work at the site of Finland’s Hanhikivi 1 NPP have resumed after the winter break, plant owner Fennovoima said on its website on 24 May. Fennovoima said contractor Terramare Oy is carrying out dredging work and marine construction work for the harbour, cooling water intake channel and standby cooling water intake channel. Terramare will remove approximately 690,000 cubic metres of material from the seabed and carry out underwater blasting. The dredge material will be transported to the marine spoil area about 10km west of the Hanhikivi headland.

Fennovoima said construction of infrastructure and auxiliary buildings at the Hanhikivi 1 site is continuing. The main gate building is under construction, reserve water tanks are being installed, construction of a major road around the site has begun and the first buildings for the accommodation village are under construction.

Dredging work at Hanhikivi 1 was stopped in October 2016 after an oil spill resulted in a 200 metre-long oil slick after the hull of a barge being operated by Terramare hit the ocean floor. Hanhikivi 1 is a 1,200MWe VVER pressurised water reactor being supplied for Fennovoima by Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, which has a 34% holding in the operating company. The plant is scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2024.

Earlier in May, the general contractor for Hanhikivi 1, Russia’s Titan-2, signed an agreement with the Finnish Destia Oy a contract to carry out work to strengthen the soil at the NPP construction site. Work will begin in the summer and will be completed in the autumn of 2017.  Another contract was signed with the Finnish Skanska Infra Oy to perform work on the excavation of the cooling water tunnels. This involves laying a cooling water tunnel 500 metres long and two access tunnels each 200 metres long. This work will also begin in the summer.

Rosatom expects to receive a construction licence for the Hanhikivi plant by the end of 2018. Roman Dukarev, a spokesman for Rusatom Energy International, told delegates at the Oulu Nuclear Forum that 381 companies – 92% of which are based in Finland – are already registered as subcontractors for the project.