Finland downplays Russian bid to build reactor

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Fortum's Loviisa nuclear power station was built in the 1970s using mostly Soviet technology(Juha Silander / Yle)
Fortum’s Loviisa nuclear power station was built in the 1970s using mostly Soviet technology. (Juha Silander / Yle)
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä said that he sees Russia’s interest in building another reactor in Finland as purely business-minded.

The presidents of Russia and Finland, Vladimir Putin and Sauli Niinistö, are likely to discuss nuclear power partnerships between the two countries during their meeting on Tuesday.

On Monday evening, Putin’s office said that Russia is interested in building a potential third reactor at Finland’s Loviisa power plant, reports the state news agency Ria Novosti. State-owned nuclear company Rosatom already supplies fuel to Loviisa’s reactors, which were mostly built by a Soviet firm in the 1970s. Loviisa is on the south-eastern coast, roughly halfway between Helsinki and the Russian border.

Rosatom has also agreed to build the planned Fennovoima reactor in Pyhäjoki on the west coast. That new plant, if realised, will likely be partly owned by the utility Fortum, which is mostly owned by the Finnish state.

Fortum’s previous request for permit to build a third reactor at the site was rejected five years ago.

PM: Purely business

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä said that he sees Russia’s interest in building another reactor in Finland as purely business.

Speaking a luncheon event hosted by the Finnish political journalists’ association on Tuesday, the premier said the matter might arise during Niinistö’s ongoing visit to Moscow. Sipilä said that the Finnish government has no need to consider the matter now because Fortum has not revived the question of another Loviisa unit.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Floating nuclear power stations for Arctic?, Radio Canada International

Finland: Pyhäjoki cottages in Finland make way for Russian-built nuclear reactor, Finland, Yle News

Norway: Three years on, still no deal on nuclear accident warning for Norway, Barents Observer

Russia: Sunken Soviet submarines threaten massive radioactive contamination, Barents Observer

Sweden:  Sweden’s environment minister wants nuclear reactors closed, Radio Sweden

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