Skip to content

STUK: Most Russian reactors wouldn’t pass muster in Finland

The head of Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, STUK, says that most Russian nuclear reactors would not get permits to operate in Finland. Despite that assessment, he admits that big improvements have been made in the last decade.

Sosnovyi Borissa sijaitsevan Leningradin ydinvoimalan reaktorihalli. Image: Rosenergoatom

STUK’s Director General Tero Varjoranta, who is set to join the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) as Deputy Director General, said that Russian plants are not subject to the same oversight as Finnish nuclear power stations.

"If the question is could they be in use and licensed in Finland, they could not," Varjoranta told Yle’s breakfast television.

Safety at older Russian reactors has nevertheless improved in the last 10-15 years, according to Varjoranta. Some of the older reactors are the same RBMK model as that used to catastrophic effect at Chernobyl.

"The new reactors are, with certain changes, the kind that could be permitted in Finland," said Varjoranta.

He added that safety requirements in Finland are quite high, and there is no acute danger from Russian reactors. The Sosnovy Bor reactor, an RBMK model 200km from the Finnish border that caused concerns last week, has undergone improvements that have reduced safety risks.