From May 24 through May 25, 2016, Rosatom International Network and FinNuclear, a Finnish industrial nuclear association, held a seminar for the partners and suppliers of the Hanhikivi-1 NPP project at the Technopolis Peltola in the city of Oulu (Finland).
The event was attended by representatives of administration of the region, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland, STUK (a supervisory and control body), Fennovoima and the contractors engaged in construction of the NPP in Pyhäjoki. They were joined by representatives of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, JSC Rusatom Energy International, RAOS Project, JSC ATOMPROEKT, JSC Atomenergomash and JSC CONCERN TITAN-2.
The seminar focused on the following issues: the culture of safety; the ecology and the environment; compliance with the Finnish legislation during project implementation; and creation of a system of effective interaction with subcontractors. Participation of Finnish companies in the project and opportunities for development of their business were also top of the agenda.
In his welcome speech, Matti Pennanen, the Mayor of Oulu, stated that he had formed a high opinion of the current state and prospects of construction of Hanhikivi-1 NPP. He pointed out that the implementation of this project would have a profound impact on the development of national nuclear power and economic efficiency of the Northern Ostrobothnia region. The mayor expressed hope that, despite national and cultural differences, Russia and Finland would be able to work together to find common approaches and effective solutions at all stages of project implementation.
In his turn, Herkko Plit, Deputy Director General of the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy, spoke about the role of Hanhikivi-1 NPP in the national energy policy. He expressly stated that, in addition to fostering the development of the northern Finnish regions, the construction of the plant would also stimulate economic growth of the entire country by supplying readily available and, most importantly, ecologically clean energy for decades to come. “Today, the Finnish manufacturing industry consumes 46% of all energy that is being generated. Naturally, it is impossible to meet such a great demand by means of renewable energy sources and fossil fuels alone. Given these factors and our goals to reduce dependence on products of the oil and gas industry, curb carbon dioxide emissions and enhance the overall energy efficiency of the country by 2030, we pay considerable attention to the development of nuclear power in general and the Hanhikivi-1 NPP project in particular.”
Moreover, according to Herkko Plit, the decision to develop nuclear power was also informed by Finland’s leading position in the ranking of ecological efficiency according to such criteria as safety assurance, protection of ecosystems and high quality of works.
At the seminar, particular attention was devoted to ensuring that the project is a benchmark. Discussion also centered on such issues as completion of works on schedule and ensuring economic efficiency of the project. Thus, in his address, Andrey Rozhdestvin, Regional Vice President of Rosatom for Western Europe, emphasized the importance of localizing the Hanhikivi-1 project, pointing out that Rosatom had been working with Finnish companies for many years on the construction of Loviisa NPP. “VVER-1200 is the latest Generation 3+ design developed in compliance with all post-Fukushima safety standards, EUR and norms set out by IAEA and WENRA – as are all the plants we have built in Russia and abroad, being a world leader in NPP construction. Meanwhile, the first of a kind Generation 3+ power unit is currently at the physical start-up stage. It has already reached minimum controllable power level at a Russian nuclear power plant in Novovoronezh,” stressed Andrey Rozhdestvin. “Rosatom has been fulfilling its obligations as regards financing, deadlines and construction estimates with unerring accuracy. Participation in one of the largest infrastructure and investment projects in the history of Finland in the 21st century is a great honor and responsibility”.
Martti Vilpas, Head of the Manufacturing Technology Section at STUK, described the activities of the Finnish supervisory body and its efforts to regulate construction and operation of nuclear facilities. He also spoke about the level of responsibility of the operator and requirements for licensing and reporting.
Together with representatives of Fennovoima and JSC CONCERN TITAN-2, the leading specialists of Rosatom’s nuclear sector companies involved in construction of Hanhikivi-1 NPP told their Finnish counterparts about the structure of the project, qualification requirements imposed on suppliers at all stages of project implementation and procurement activities of Rosatom and, more specifically, RAOS Project Oy.
According to Juha Miikkulainen, Development Manager at Fennovoima, the majority of companies participating in the project are Finnish, which demonstrates that the project has created major opportunities for the local business. The seminar also focused on ecological management and requirements for operational health and safety during project implementation.
Day two of the seminar opened with business-to-business meetings between Rosatom representatives and Finnish suppliers of products and services in the nuclear industry. Overall, the event was attended by about 200 people.
In December 2013, the Finnish company Fennovoima Oy and JSC Rusatom Energy International (a company specializing in management of Rosatom’s foreign projects on construction and operation of nuclear power plants under conditions of being a shareholder in project companies) signed a contract for the construction of Hanhikivi-1 NPP. In the spring of 2014, Rosatom acquired 34% of shares in Fennovoima. The plant design will be adapted to meet Finnish national safety requirements. In June 2015, Fennovoima Oy applied for a license for NPP construction. Since 2015, RAOS Project Oy, a Finnish subsidiary of JSC Rusatom Energy International, has been the general contractor on the project. Commercial operation of Hanhikivi-1 NPP, which consists of one unit, is scheduled for 2024.
Founded by industrial organisations, FinNuclear Association’s purpose is to promote Finnish companies’ general preconditions, cooperation, competences, international profile in manufacturing, construction and service activities in the nuclear energy field. FinNuclear activities started as a part of national Centre of Expertise Programme in 2007 with a cooperation of five Finnish organisations working in the nuclear field. The starting point was to make better use of Finnish competences nationally and internationally in nuclear energy projects. In order to strengthen the juridical basis, FinNuclear activities were organized into a registered association in spring 2011. FinNuclear-unit of Prizztech Ltd. was responsible for practical implementation of activities at the beginning, but later developed into an independent spin-off company to act as the operational unit of FinNuclear Association. FinNuclear Association’s activities are directed and supervised by the annually appointed Board that consists mainly of representatives from member organisations.