Fortum granted licence to operate Loviisa power plant units until end of 2050
On 16 February 2023, the Government granted an operating licence to Fortum Power and Heat Oy (Fortum) for nuclear power plants units Loviisa 1 (LO1) and Loviisa 2 (LO2), in accordance with the Nuclear Energy Act. The new operating licence allows energy production at the nuclear power plant units until the end of 2050. The current operating licences for Loviisa expire on 31 December 2027 (LO1) and 31 December 2030 (LO2).
In addition, an operating licence was granted for the units until the end of 2055, as required by preparations for their decommissioning. Fortum was also granted an operating licence to use the buildings and warehouses necessary for nuclear fuel and nuclear waste management, with the necessary extensions, until the end of 2090.
A condition for granting the licence was a positive statement from the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK), based on an extensive safety assessment of the plants.
According to a statement submitted by STUK to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on 26 January 2023, Fortum has the required capabilities, procedures, competence and resources to continue safe operations. The company has also made ageing management plans and selected procedures that, in STUK’s assessment, are sufficient to monitor the plant’s condition and to initiate necessary improvement measures.
The Government’s view is that it is well-founded to continue the operations of the Loviisa power plant for reasons of security of electricity supply in Finland. The plant strengthens Finland’s self-sufficiency in electricity, which contributes to lowering the price level of electricity in Finland, thus benefiting households, businesses and all other electricity users.
For securing industrial competitiveness, it is essential to secure the supply of electricity at a reasonable price level. The prospect of stable and affordable electricity prices far into the future increases investors’ interest towards Finland.
The continuing use of the plant will support security of electricity production, as the plant currently produces approximately 10 per cent of Finland’s electricity needs, with annual production of approximately 8 TWh.
The operating licence is also a prerequisite for storing and handling at the Loviisa power plant decommissioning waste from the decommissioned research reactor (FiR 1) located in Otaniemi.
The operation of the nuclear power plant also requires security of supply for fuel deliveries. On 22 November 2022, Fortum announced that it had signed an agreement with Westinghouse Electric Company to supply a new fuel type for the Loviisa power plant. Taking the new fuel into use is a multi-year project requiring regulatory approvals. As a condition of the licence, Fortum is required to report to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on procurement arrangements for the new nuclear fuel by 31 December 2023 at the latest.
Fortum has also applied for a licence to use the low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste final disposal facility located at the Loviisa power plant site until the end of 2090. This licence is under preparation in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and will be decided on by the Government during the spring. Posiva Oy will be responsible for the final disposal of the spent nuclear fuel generated at the Loviisa power plant.
Jorma Aurela, Chief Engineer, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 064 832
Liisa Heikinheimo, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7035