HELSINKI, September 25. /TASS/. The Finnish-Russian project for the construction of the Hanhikivi nuclear plant in Finland must meet nuclear safety criteria in order to be implemented, Finland’s Prime Minister Juha Sipila said in an interview with TASS on Tuesday ahead of his meeting with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, who is arriving in Helsinki on an official visit.
"It is an important project. But it should be remembered that nuclear safety is priority number one as far as the use of nuclear energy in Finland is concerned. That is why the nuclear plant project must meet nuclear safety criteria and this matter is addressed by independent agencies (first of all, Finland’s nuclear regulator STUK - TASS). The project must be realistic in all respects," he said.
The contract for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Finland’s Hanhikivi peninsula, in the municipality of Pyhajoki was signed by Russia’s Rusatom Overseas (incorporated in the state nuclear corporation Rosatom) and Finland’s Fennovoima in December 2013. A ten-year fuel contract was signed with Russia’s TVEL (also incorporated in Rosatom) in the same month.
In the summer of 2015, Fennovoima lodged a license application with the Finnish authorities for the construction of Hanhikivi-1 after it acquired a more than 60% share in the project, one of the application’s terms.
It was originally planned that the licensing process would be over in 2018 but in 2017 Fennovoima said it would most probably be done only in 2019. The plant is expected to be commissioned in 2024.