Uranium & Fuel

Finland / State Company Plans Uranium Recovery For Use In Nuclear Power Plants

By David Dalton
3 January 2023

Preparations begin for mining at Sokmato following feasibility study
State Company Plans Uranium Recovery For Use In Nuclear Power Plants
2013 aerial viuew of the Talvivaara mine in Sotkamo in northeast Finland. Courtesy Antti Lankinen/Wiimedia.
Finnish mining company Terrafame plans to start recovering natural uranium as a by-product of zinc and nickel production at its Talvivaara mine in Sotkamo in the northeast of the country by the summer of 2024 with the aim of using it for nuclear power plants.

The state-owned company said it has completed a feasibility study related to uranium recovery and has decided to start preparing operations for uranium recovery.

Terrafame said its production process enables the low concentration of natural uranium found in the ore to be used as a by-product.

The company has a uranium recovery plant which is being prepared for operational use.

The preparations will require investments of approximately €20m ($21m) with the plant expected to operate at full capacity of around 200 tonnes a year in 2026.

Finland has four operational nuclear power plants – two at Loviisa and two at Olkiluoto – that provide about 32% of its electricity production. A third unit, the delayed Olkiluoto-3 EPR plant, is undergoing test operation and is scheduled to begin full commercial operation in March.

In 2020 the International Energy Agency said there was no uranium exploration in Finland. Identified conventional resources – both reasonably assured and inferred resources – stood at 1,500 tU (tons of raw uranium) of in-situ reasonably assured conventional resources in the Palmottu and Pahtavuoma uranium deposits. No inferred conventional resources were reported.

Uranium production in Finland has been confined only to the now remediated Paukkajanvaara mine that operated as a pilot-scale mine between 1958 and 1961.

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