HELSINKI, May 13. /ITAR-TASS/. The support for the construction of the Russian-Finnish Hanhikivi-1 nuclear power plant in northern Finland remains strong, Minna Forsstrom, project director at Fennovoima, which is building the NPP jointly with Russia’s Rosatom, said on Tuesday.“The support has always been steadily strong. Nothing changed in this respect when Rosatom joined the project. The attitude to our Russian partner is very benevolent,” she said.
At present, 70% of the population at Pyhajoki where the NPP will be built supports the project, she said. “Higher indicators can hardly be achieved.”
The Russian and Finnish companies numerously informed Pyhajoki residents that the future NPP was practically safe for the local environment.
“The largest effect will come from warm water. We’ll take water from sea to cool the NPP and then it will again flow into the sea. This is perhaps the sole influence the station will have on the environment. And very little noise as well. All the calculations in this respect are given in our report on the environmental consequences of the NPP operation,” she said.
“How great are these consequences? It depends on what comparisons we make. I would say that Hankii-1 is safe for nature compared with enterprises firing fossil fuel,” Forsstrom explained.
In late March, Russia’s civilian nuclear power corporation Rosatom bought a 34% stake In Fennovoima. The share of the Finnish side in the company fell below 50% after Kesko’s subsidiary Kestra quit the project. A small package of shares is also owned by the Swedish side. In April, Fennovoima shareholders took a final decision to support the NPP construction.
Rosatom’s Rusatom Overseas and Finnish Fennovoima signed a contract on the NPP construction in late December 2013. Fennovoima obtained the license for construction back in the summer of 2010.
During the license issuance, the Russian company was not mentioned as the reactor supplier and the Finnish side considered it necessary for the national parliament to make a repeat approval of the construction project. The Finnish government will decide on submitting the project to deputies in early summer.
Fennovoima expects the Finnish authorities to study the project’s new elements and confirm again that “it fully meets the interests of society”.
Rusatom Overseas is expected to deliver a 1,200 MW reactor for the NPP. The construction will start not earlier than in 2015. The NPP construction project is estimated at €6.5 billion, as reported by the Finnish media, of which €1.6 billion will be paid by Fennovoima and the remaining sum by Rosatom.