New Build

Hanhikivi Construction Licence On Schedule, With First Concrete Expected In ‘Early 2018’

By Kamen Kraev
14 December 2015

14 Dec (NucNet): The construction licensing process for the planned Hanhikivi-1 nuclear power station in Finland is on schedule with the pouring of first concrete expected in early 2018, Fennovoima’s licensing manager Janne Liuko told NucNet.

Mr Liuko said the company expects to receive the construction licence for the plant, at Pyhäjoki on Finland’s northwest coast, in late 2017. The application was submitted to the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy in June 2015.

One issue which could impact the licensing process is the plant design layout, Mr Liuko said. He said Fennovoima, founded in 2007 to build and operate Hanhikivi-1, has “a very mature design” used at the reference plant Leningrad 2-1 in Russia, which is almost complete and nearing the commissioning phase. However, local requirements in Finland or specifications from equipment suppliers may bring about changes to the design layout.

“We are cooperating with the authorities on a daily basis”, Mr Liuko said. He said Fennovoima has been submitting technology and safety related material in stages to the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Stuk) since the beginning of the scrutiny of the construction licence application (CLA).

This process, which is linked to the CLA, will take up to two years. The construction licence for Hanhikivi-1 can only be obtained from the Finnish government following a positive safety assessment, carried out according to Finnish standards, by Stuk.

Mr Liuko said infrastructure work that has begun at the Hanhikivi site – a contract was recently signed for dredging and an access road is complete – is not related to nuclear safety and was subject to a separate set of “conventional” permits.

Hanhikivi-1 will be a 1,200-megawatt VVER pressurised water reactor of the Russian AES-2006 type. Start of commissioning is scheduled for 2022 and commercial operation for 2024.

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