Schedule for Hanhikivi 1 project revised

27 December 2018

Finland's Fennovoima now expects to receive the construction licence for its planned Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant in 2021. The company had originally expected to start construction of the plant this year. Start of commercial operation of the Russian-supplied plant has been put back four years to 2028.

An artistic impression of how the Hanhikivi 1 plant could look (Image: Fennovoima)

Fennovoima signed the plant supply contract for Hanhikivi with Rusatom Overseas - Rosatom's subsidiary concerned with exports of nuclear power plants - in December 2013. Rosatom had offered to build a plant using a 1200 MWe AES-2006 VVER under a fixed-price contract.

Fennovoima submitted its 250-page construction licence application to Finland's Ministry of Employment and the Economy for the planned Hanhikivi nuclear power plant project in June 2015. The application sets out details of the plant location, the reactor type, the main safety systems, nuclear waste management, financing of the project and Fennovoima's organisation, the company said.

The government's decision to issue a construction licence will require a positive assessment of the application by the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Stuk). Fennovoima said it is in the process of supplying the regulator with the design documentation of the plant for assessment. It noted the plant supplier is responsible for the preparation of the design documentation needed for the construction licence and for its delivery to Fennovoima.

The Hanhikivi project is owned by Fennovoima, in which a 34% stake is held by RAOS Voima Oy, the Finnish subsidiary set up in 2014 by Rosatom for the purpose of buying a share in the company. Russia's Titan-2 is the main contractor for the Hanhikivi project.

Fennovoima announced on 21 December that it had received a new schedule estimation from RAOS Project.

"The goal is to receive the construction licence and to start construction of the plant in 2021," Fennovoima said. "Accordingly, the commercial operation of the plant would begin in 2028."

The Finnish company said it has begun working with RAOS Project to develop an overall project schedule "based on the received information". This process, it said, is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2019.

"Finnish safety regulations are the strictest in the world and because of that the design has taken longer than expected," Fennovoima CEO Toni Hemminki was quoted as saying by the YLE newspaper.

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.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News