Government urges nuclear waste management custodians to cooperate
In its meeting of 28 February 2012, the Government's Committee on Economic Policy asserted that the Government is ready to apply its option of assignment in accordance with the Nuclear Energy Act, paragraph 29, in order to ensure nuclear waste-related cooperation between Posiva Oy and its owners and Fennovoima Oy.
- This is the Government's message to the operators in the field: the technical clarifications regarding final disposal should be carried out in a neutral and unbiased manner. After that, it will be time to make decisions. It should be possible to engage in cooperation if the reports show that a mutual solution is feasible and the best option from the perspective of overall economy and safety sums up Minister of Economic Affairs Jyri Häkämies, who presented the matter to the Cabinet Committee.
In accordance with paragraph 29 of the Nuclear Energy Act, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy can order the various nuclear waste management custodians to address their waste management measures collectively if safety can thereby be increased or expenditures substantially reduced, or other important reasons require this action.
If paragraph 29 of the Nuclear Energy Act is applied, this would concern Fortum Power and Heat Oy and Teollisuuden Voima Oyj to the extent that they would be ordered to engage in cooperation with Fennovoima Oy.
The Parliament of Finland deliberated on the principle decisions linked with additional nuclear power construction in the summer of 2010. A declaration was joined with its resolution, according to which the Parliament requires that the Government exerts impact on the companies to initiate clarifications and negotiations towards a national final disposal solution aiming at the eradication of nuclear waste through the appropriate means, which also includes the final disposal of spent nuclear waste respective to the nuclear power unit of Fennovoima Oy. The goal to obtain a national solution to the question of the final disposal of nuclear waste has also been officially entered into the programme of Mr Katainen's Government.
Posiva Oy is planning a final disposal site for nuclear fuel at Olkiluoto in Eurajoki, where the spent nuclear fuel produced at the power plant units of its owners, Teollisuuden Voima (Olkiluoto 1-4) and Fortum (Loviisa 1-2), would be relegated. Posiva is submitting its construction licence application to the Council of State by the end of 2012.
A condition is included within the principle decision obtained by Fennovoima in 2010, by which it must present, to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, either an agreement regarding nuclear waste-related cooperation with the current nuclear management custodians or an assessment programme on the environmental impacts of its own final disposal facility for spent fuel.
In accordance with the policies outlined by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy requires that the parties initiate the completion of the required clarifications on collective final disposal.
Special Assistant to the Minister of Economic Affairs Kai Mykkänen, tel. +358 (0)40 592 1499
Deputy Director General Herkko Plit, TEM, tel. +358 (0)10 606 3636 and +358 (0)50 462 0788