Finland performs remote inspection of new nuclear plant project

29 April 2020

Finnish nuclear regulator STUK has carried out a scheduled inspection of RAOS Project Oy - a subsidiary of Russia's Rosatom - via Skype, in line with social distancing restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Hanhikivi construction site (Image: Fennovoima)

Rosatom is building the Hanhikivi-1 nuclear power plant using a 1200 MWe AES-2006 VVER under a fixed-price contract. RAOS Project Oy has been the general supplier for Hanhikivi-1 NPP since April 2015. RAOS Project Oy was established in Finland in February 2015 and is a 100% JSC REIN (Rusatom Energy International) subsidiary. JSC REIN is part of Rosatom. Another JSC REIN subsidiary, RAOS Voima Oy, was founded in Finland in 2014 and owns 34% of Fennovoima Oy, which is the plant's owner and future operator.

Rosatom said the three-day exercise on 20-22 April was the first time in history that a remote inspection of a foreign supplier of nuclear power plants had been carried out. More than 30 RAOS Project Oy personnel took part in the inspection.

"STUK experts positively assessed the functionality for managing orders on the corporate portal, noted the progress made in the development of management processes for interfaces and documentation, and also praised the quality of technical support for inspection in a remote working environment," Rosatom said yesterday. "During the inspection, three of the five previously advanced requirements were closed. RAOS Project will continue to work on issues related to two outstanding regulatory requirements," it added.

Based on the results of the latest inspection, STUK has set a new requirement for the project management system.

"The Finnish regulator pointed out the need to start an active study of project management issues at the next stage of its implementation - at the construction stage of nuclear power plants. The regulator needs to evaluate the organisation of project management in the horizon of the entire life cycle of the Hanhikivi-1 nuclear power plant construction project, including both the six-month transit period, the entire period of construction and installation work and the subsequent commissioning of the nuclear power plant," Rosatom said.

The next STUK inspection is tentatively scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.

Fennovoima began excavation work at the Hanhikivi site in Pyhäjoki in northern Finland in January 2016. It had originally anticipated receiving the construction licence for Hanhikivi 1 in 2018, with operation beginning in 2024. However, in September 2017 the company announced it did not expect to receive the licence until 2019 as the review of documentation related to its application was taking longer than originally envisaged. In December 2018, Fennovoima said it expected to receive the construction licence in 2021.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News