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Fennovoima mulls Russian contractor for nuclear plant

The Russian nuclear energy company Rosatom has emerged as a candidate for the construction of a nuclear power plant planned by the Finnish power consortium Fennovoima.

Jukka Laaksonen
Rosatom Overseas Vice President Jukka Laaksonen confirmed that Fennovoima had made contact about the Pyhäjoki plant. Image: YLE

Rosatom Overseas Vice President and former head of Finland's radiation watchdog STUK Jukka Laaksonen confirmed that Fennovoima contacted the Russian nuclear contractor about possibly building its Pyhäjoki plant. He said the enquiry came as a surprise.

Laaksonen noted however, that the Russians would most likely construct a much smaller facility than originally planned by Fennovoima.

He said that discussions are still at a preliminary phase and emphasised that he is not personally involved at this stage.

“It’s not simply that Rosatom would be centrally involved at this stage,” Laaksonen noted. He added that as far as he knew Fennovoima would probably provide more specific information on Monday.

Laaksonen did not rule out the possibility that Rosatom could also become part owner of the nuclear power plant in Pyhäjoki, northwest Finland. The Russian company is also part owner of Turkey’s fourth largest nuclear power plant currently under construction.

The former radiation safety head also did not believe that Fennovoima would have to seek parliamentary approval if Rosatom were to come on board the project.

“The spirit of Parliament’s decision in principle is that it will not decide separately on options related to the plant, but to maintain its competitiveness – and not to tie the power company to any pre-determined option,” he explained.

The consortium had previously named the French company Areva and the Japanese Toshiba as possible contractors for the plant.

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