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Fennovoima admits building permits not likely before 2019

The Russian-Finnish nuclear project at Pyhäjoki, northern Finland, will not get a building permit before 2019, according to the company's new, revised estimate. The firm had just a few months ago said it expected the permit in 2018.

Fennovoima has already started construction at the site, but building the plant itself will have to wait until at least 2019. Image: Risto Degerman / Yle

The Hanhikivi-1 reactor to be built by Fennovoima in Pyhäjoki will not get a permit before 2019, according to the company.

The firm's CEO Toni Hemminki says that the new target is 2019, representing a further delay for the flagship nuclear project, which is a partnership with the Russian state-owned firm Rosatom.

"Because the delivery of documents [from Rosatom] has been slower than expected, STUK has not been able to complete its evaluation work according to the timetable," Hemminki was quoted as saying in a statement.

In May, Fennovoima had said it was expecting a permit to be granted in late 2018. The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) has to assess the project before a permit can be granted—but Fennovoima has still not submitted all the required documents.

The company claims that delay is because of red tape hampering Rosatom's planning and design work.

The building permit itself is granted by the Finnish government, but it cannot proceed without STUK's safety assessment. Fennovoima submitted the application for a building permit two years ago.