Fennovoima and Rusatom Overseas have set their sights on concluding an investment decision and power plant supply contract for a new nuclear power plant at Hanhikivi in Finland by the end of 2013.
|Fennovoima's vision of an AES-2006 VVER plant at Hanhikivi (Image: Fennovoima)
The two companies have announced that they plan to agree on the detailed project schedule, financing arrangements and plans for Rosatom to take up a 34% stake in Fennovoima at the same time as concluding the contract. Fennovoima, established in 2007 to build a new nuclear power plant in Finland, is currently owned by Voimaosakeyhtiö SF, a consortium of 60 Finnish companies, after Germany's EOn sold its 34% share of Fennovoima in 2012.
Before a contract can be completed, the regional power users and suppliers making up Fennovoima's Finnish owners must all decide whether to continue their participation in the project. The shareholders now have until the end of October to make that decision.
The Hanhikivi site, in the municipality of Pyhäjoki on Finland's western coast, was selected in 2011. Initial plans envisaged a 1250-1700 MWe plant using either Areva's EPR or Toshiba's ABWR designs, but earlier this year Fennovoima decided to terminate the ongoing bidding process and evaluate the possibility of building a mid-sized reactor of 1000-1300 MWe at the site. In July, the company announced that negotiations would continue with Rusatom Overseas, the nuclear power plant export subsidiary of Russia's Rosatom state nuclear corporation, with a view to building a single-unit 1200 MWe plant using a Gidropress-designed AES-2006 VVER pressurized water reactor.
The AES-2006 is the latest evolution of the VVER design. Six of the units are under construction in Russia and units are also to be built in Turkey and Belarus. The design meets current IAEA and European requirements, and will be adapted to meet Finnish national standards, Fennovoima notes.
Finland currently has four operating nuclear reactors, including two Russian-designed VVER-440 units at Loviisa. Areva is currently building a 1600 MWe EPR at Olkiluoto 3, but construction of the unit has been subject to delays which have seen the anticipated start-up date pushed back from 2013 to 2016.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News