Finnish energy company Fortum Power and Heat Oy has initiated an environmental impact assessment procedure for the two reactors at its Loviisa nuclear power plant with the aim of operating the units for 20 years beyond their current license expiration dates of 2027 (for Unit 1) and 2030 (for Unit 2).
What they’re saying: “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 Thomas Buddas, Loviisa’s deputy director, in an August 13 Fortum press release. “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.”
The press release also offered a strong endorsement of nuclear energy, stating, “At Fortum, we believe that nuclear power is needed also in the future. As a carbon dioxide emission–free, reliable source of energy that is not dependent on the weather, nuclear power contributes to meeting today’s need for energy and mitigating climate change—together with renewable energy.”
A look at Loviisa: One of Finland’s two operating nuclear facilities—the other being the two-unit Olkiluoto plant, where a third unit is scheduled to begin commercial operation next March—Lovissa is located on the country’s southern coast, near the town of Loviisa. Units 1 and 2 are both 507-MWe VVER-440/V213 pressurized water reactors, with commercial start dates of May 1977 and January 1981, respectively.
In 2019, Loviisa achieved a capacity factor of 92.4 percent and produced a total of 8.2 terawatt hours (net) of electricity, more than 10 percent of Finland’s annual electricity production, according to Fortum.