Putin’s Ukraine move puts Pyhäjoki nuclear plant in jeopardy

“Putinjoki” painted over the road sign on entering Pyhäjoki municipality. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)

Finland’s Defense Ministry will do a new security assessment of the partly Russian-owned nuclear power plant project near Oulu in northern Finland.

Construction work at the site of the proposed new nuclear power plant in Pyhäjoki is in full swing, but no final approval is granted by Finnish authorities. The Fennovoima company preparing to construct the 1200 MW Russian designed nuclear reactor for Hanhikivi 1 power plant is partly owned by Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Sanna Marin told news agency STT she believes a new risk analysis should be conducted for the nuclear power plant project.

Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintilä, said to Helsingin Sanomat that Russia’s actions in recent days have led to a need for an even stricter assessment of the conditions for the implementation of Fennovoima’s nuclear plant.

The Russian-Finnish consortium had hoped to obtain approval this year from the Government to construct the plant that has been delayed by several years.

Minister Lintilä said Russia’s actions by recognizing the independence of the rebel regions in eastern Ukraine and sending military troops into the region will affect the criteria used to assess the overall safety of the power plant.

“It is quite clear that this will significantly raise the bar for discretion,” Mika Lintilä said.

Additional to providing the reactor itself, Rosatom is co-financing the construction of what would be Western Europe’s northernmost nuclear power plant.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: How is the growing demand for minerals affecting northeastern Canada and the climate?, CBC News

Greenland: Greenlandic government suspends oil exploration over climate concerns, Eye on the Arctic

Russia: Bolstered by battery boom, British mining company to dig nine new open pits in Russian Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Reducing emissions could create up to 3,000 new jobs in Arctic Sweden says mining group, Radio Sweden

United States: Interior Department report calls for higher oil and gas royalties, Alaska senator Murkowski objects, Alaska Public Media

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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