Stuk said it has given the green light to Finland’s economic ministry which is to grant a final permit to owner Fortum to continue the operation of two VVER-440 pressurised water reactor units at the Loviisa site after their current licenses expire in 2027 and 2030.
The government is expected to issue final decision on the operating licence extensions in early 2023, Fortum said.
In March 2022, Fortum said it would submit a lifetime extension application to the Finnish government.
Loviisa, about 100 km east of the capital Helsinki, was the first commercial nuclear power facility in Finland and according to Fortum provides more than 10% of the country’s electricity.
The station has two 507-MW Russian-designed VVER units in commercial operation since May 1977 and January 1981.
Fortum said last year that it had invested some €325m in the Loviisa station over the past five years. It said investments related to continued operations and lifetime extensions will amount to an estimated €1bn until 2050.
According to Stuk, Fortum has followed all safety regulations at Loviisa and has the necessary prerequisites, procedures, expertise, and resources to continue to safe operation.
The regulator said that ageing management at the station will still require “measures, monitoring, and verification” to ensure the safe operation of the until 2050, but Fortum has presented plans that are in its opinion sufficient and include needed improvement measures.
Stuk said Finnish law requires regular safety assessments of nuclear plants with a next such review planned for Loviisa in 2030.
Stuk has also granted a positive assessment of Fortum’s plans to operate a low and intermediate-level waste repository at Loviisa until 2090.