Fennovoima expected to continue negotiations on joint final disposal
On 16 December 2016, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment as the coordinating authority gave a statement on Fennovoima Oy’s Environmental Impact Assessment programme for the project concerning the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. According to the ministry, Fennovoima should continue cooperation with the parties currently under the waste management obligation.
Fennovoima is also required to provide a plan for a more detailed timetable of the project by 31 January 2018.
Fennovoima submitted its EIA programme to the ministry in June 2016. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment organised a hearing on the assessment programme between 12 September and 9 November 2016. The Ministry of the Environment organised an international hearing on it in line with the Espoo Convention. A total of 63 statements and opinions were submitted to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment by the deadline. In addition, nine countries participated in the international hearing. The statement made by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment as the coordinating authority and the statements and opinions received by the ministry are available online at http://tem.fi/yva-ohjelma-2016.
The assessment programme was as a rule considered comprehensive in the statements received and it was found to fulfil the requirements in the Act on EIA Procedure. Many of the submitters of statements, too, paid attention to the exceptionally long Environmental Impact Assessment procedure and emphasised the importance of communicating about the project and the need to update the information in the assessment programme during the procedure. Several submitters of statements also considered it important that Fennovoima and the parties currently under the waste management obligation cooperate in matters related to the final disposal.
In the ministry’s view, Fennovoima must strive to find a solution to organising the encapsulation of spent nuclear fuel and its final disposal in cooperation with the parties currently under the waste management obligation on the basis of commercial agreements negotiated together. The ministry finds the final disposal of Fennovoima’s spent nuclear fuel in Posiva’s final disposal facility the most desirable solution.
Fennovoima must provide a plan for a more detailed timetable of the project during by 31 January 2018 as the EIA procedure continues. Among other things, the plan must state how the research areas will be determined in Eurajoki and the timetable for it, and how the studies conducted in the research areas will proceed in Eurajoki and Pyhäjoki. In addition, the report must include a more detailed plan on how participation will be organised and the related timetable.
The alternative final disposal locations in Fennovoima’s EIA programme are Pyhäjoki and Eurajoki, where Fennovoima together with Posiva is conducting studies on the possible impacts that an encapsulation plant and final disposal facility of its own would have on people and the environment in the area. Fennovoima submitted its construction licence application for the Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant to the Government in 2015 and the Government will make its decision on the licence application in 2018 at the earliest. The final disposal of spent nuclear fuel is expected to begin in the 2090s.
Jorma Aurela, Chief Engineer, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 592 2109
Linda Kumpula, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment tel. +358 50 412 4425