Fortum (Power and Heat Oy) said Wednesday it has initiated an Environmental Impact Assessment procedure (EIA procedure) for the Loviisa nuclear power plant. The procedure will assess the environmental impacts of a potential extension of the operation of the power plant or, alternatively, the decommissioning of the power plant, as well as the environmental impacts of the final disposal facility for low- and intermediate-level waste.
“Loviisa power plant’s current operating licenses are valid until the end of 2027 and 2030. In this procedure, we will assess the impacts of both the extension of the commercial operation and the decommissioning of the power plant on the environment, public health and safety, and on the surrounding community and the economy,” said Deputy Director Thomas Buddas from Loviisa power plant.
“In terms of the technology, the Loviisa power plant is in good shape and meets the current safety requirements. The environmental impact assessment that will now be conducted will help us to collect data for a possible new operating license application,” he continued.
The EIA procedure has two phases and will take about eighteen months. The first program phase contains the Fortum plan on the environmental impact assessment and on the arrangement of communications and participation.
Based on the EIA program and the statements and opinions about it, an environmental impact assessment will be carried out, the results of which will be presented in the Environmental Impacts Assessment report.
The coordinating authority in the EIA procedure is the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, and the Ministry of the Environment is responsible for the international hearing.
In 2019, the load factor at Fortum’s fully-owned Loviisa nuclear power plant was 92.4%. The continuous development and modernization of the power plant enable load factors that are among the best for pressurized water reactors on an international scale. During the past five years, Fortum’s investments in the Loviisa power plant have totaled about EUR 450 million. In 2019, the power plant produced a total of 8.2 terawatt hours (net) of electricity, which is more than 10% of Finland’s electricity production. Fortum employs about 700 nuclear sector professionals, 500 of them work at the Loviisa power plant. Additionally, nearly 100 permanent employees of other companies work in the power plant area every day.