29 Aug (NucNet): The company building the Hanhikivi-1 nuclear unit in northwest Finland says its target is to get the construction licence in 2019 and to begin construction in 2020, a spokeswoman told NucNet in an email today.
Fennovoima, which is building a Russia-supplied 1,200-MW VVER pressurised water reactor at Hanhikivi, was responding to unconfirmed reports in Russian media that the project is behind schedule.
Tiina Rytky, the company’s digital communications manager, said: “We know it is a very challenging target, since a lot of the design material is still not delivered to the safety authority Stuk.
“We have asked for an update of the project timetable from our plant supplier and we are expecting it at the end of this year.”
Ms Rytky said Fennovoima will use “all the time needed for designing the power plant”. She said: “We prefer to take time now than at the point when we are already on the construction site with thousands of workers.”
According to Fennovoima’s website, the total investment cost for Hanhikivi-1 will be between €6.5 and €7bn, which includes initial plant costs, financing and waste management. This estimate has remained the same since spring 2014, when the original investment decision was made, Fennovoima said.
The Hanhikivi project is owned by Fennovoima. RAOS Voima Oy, the Finnish subsidiary set up in 2014 by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, has a 34% stake in Fennovoima. Russia's Titan-2 is the main contractor for the project.
The latest schedule on Rosatom’s website says construction was scheduled to start in 2018 with commercial operation in 2024.
Fennovoima submitted the construction licence application in the summer of 2015.
In March 2018 Fennovoima said it faced challenges in 2017 delivering design documentation to the regulator, but remained on track to receive the construction permit in 2019.
In its corporate responsibility report for 2017, Fennovoima said taking Finnish requirements and legislation into account in the design work had taken more time than anticipated for plant supplier RAOS Project Oy, which is part of the Rosatom Group.
Fennovoima says that when Hanhikivi-1 is complete it will provide approximately 10% of Finland’s electricity needs.
The reference plant for Hanhikivi-1 is Leningrad 2 in Sosnovy Bor, Russia. There are two VVER V-491 units under construction at Leningrad 2. Last week Rosatom said comprehensive final testing had been completed at Leningrad 2-1.