Finland: Government Grants New Operating License For Fortum’s Loviisa Nuclear Power Plant
The Finnish Government has granted a new operating license for both units at Fortum’s Loviisa nuclear power plant until the end of 2050. Over the course of the new licence period, the plant is expected to generate up to 170 terawatt hours of CO2-free electricity.
”This decision is an important and welcome one not only for Fortum, but for a clean and prosperous future for Finland. Continuing production at Loviisa is above all an investment in providing the power the Finnish society needs to meet its ambitious climate targets. Decarbonisation of our industries requires large volumes of clean and reliable electricity that cannot be covered by new additional and intermittent sources only. At the same time, nuclear as a stable production form, is also a key enabler for growth of wind and solar in the Nordic power system,” says Fortum’s President and CEO Markus Rauramo.
The lifetime extension of the Loviisa nuclear power plant is a significant investment with far-reaching positive impacts both economically and for employment. Over the past five years, Fortum has already invested approximately EUR 300 million in refurbishing the Loviisa power plant. When announcing the decision to apply for new operating licence in March 2022, Fortum estimated that investments related to continuing of the operations and the lifetime extension will amount to approximately EUR 1 billion until 2050. The decision brings visibility and predictability to the plant’s over 500 permanent employees as well as the eco-system serving the power plant.
“The public acceptability of nuclear power is high in our core markets, Finland and Sweden, and we are pleased to have excellent relations with City of Loviisa and the surrounding communities. In parallel with the life-time extension, we are carrying out a thorough assessment of the economic viability of building new nuclear to Finland and/or Sweden. The feasibility study, to be completed next year, focuses on the technical, economic and societal preconditions that must be in place for Fortum to consider such a new large and long-term investment,” Markus Rauramo says.
The Finnish Government’s decision was preceded by the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority’s (STUK) statement of the lifetime extension in January. In its statement STUK stated that operations of the Loviisa 1 and 2 nuclear power plant units are safe and in accordance with the law, and have the required capabilities, procedures, competence and resources to continue safe operations until 2050.
Fortum has also applied for a licence to use the low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste final disposal repository located in Loviisa’s current power plant area until 2090. This licence process is ongoing at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (MEAE) and the Finnish Government will decide on it during the spring. The spent fuel from the Loviisa power plant will be disposed of at the Posiva nuclear final disposal repository, jointly owned by Fortum and Teollisuuden Voima (TVO).
In 2022, the Loviisa nuclear power plant generated a total of 7.9 terawatt-hours (net) of CO2-free power. On an international scale, the 89.4 % load factor of the Loviisa nuclear power plant was among the best in the world for pressurised water reactors, according to the company.